I used to describe some things as a “once in a lifetime” experience.
I now realize the fallacy in my meaning of that statement. I also realize the inherent accuracy in that it captures the reality of the present moment.
The younger version of me called unique experiences once in a lifetime because of lack. Simply said, I didn’t think I’d do it again.
The last time I thought I was having a once in a lifetime experience on the honeymoon with my wife. We paid for our very lovely (and expensive for us) all-inclusive resort. I kind of didn’t think we’d go to that kind of place again. At the end of the trip, though, we rebooked the same vacation for the next year. We’ve experienced plenty of “honeymoons” since.
And yet, every experience is once in a lifetime. We’ll never experience the same thing at the same time. I love the energy of this statement. It’s one in which we value each experience that we have as its own unique moment.
That leads me to this past week. The 2022 class of Xperiental MBA descended upon New York City for a few days of learning, fun and of course experiences.
This group is special. It’s the inaugural group of Xperiential MBA. It’s the folks that took the chance on this class with my partner Chris Suarez and me. We are honored in their trust that we would deliver a business and life changing program.
And they paved the way for future groups to experience the curriculum and events. The first time you do anything you learn: what was great, what was just okay, what well differently do moving forward.
In that respect this experience is truly once in a lifetime. We can soak up the moments knowing that in future we’ll have a different perspective. It teaches us to value each moment for what it is – one in a lifetime.
We’ve hung out in Chris’ manhattan condo, stayed in one the oldest skyscrapers in NYC – now a beautiful hotel, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, dined at one of best best restaurants in the world, experienced the exhalation of opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange and the reverence of the 9/11 memorial.
Just as important was us experiencing the group. We talked in one of the sessions about the longest study of human behavior – coined the “Harvard happiness study.” This study dating back to 1938, this study looked at health & happiness of the college sophomores at Harvard alongside that of similar aged non-college educated young adults from Boston. It has since studied the families of these individuals.
In all the data over all the years the study finds that the biggest indicator of someone’s long term happiness and even health & longevity is quality of the relationships that person has.
We can (and will) do many of the experiences again. In fact, Chris & I endeavor to enhance the experiences for each Xperiental MBA group. Frankly, we trust that we’ll become even better for the next class.
This event is not once in a lifetime. However, the relationships that we are more deeply forging this week are.
Take the opportunity today to experience once in a lifetime moments. Maybe it’s a conversation with a loved one, or a trip to the neighborhood park with a child, possibly creating stronger bonds with cohort leaders in the middle of the city that never sleeps.
Life is not just meant to be lived, it’s meant to be experienced. This week happened to take place in New York for me. I experienced a wide range of energy. And the experience is once in a lifetime.
I look forward to getting back home to Austin, to experience a once in a lifetime moment with my kids at our next dinner.