As mentioned in my previous post , The Best Investment I Have Ever Made , I met the two most life-changing people I know when I hit one of them with a ping-pong ball.
I retold this story to a close friend, Jake , yesterday evening remarking that I wouldn’t have ever properly introduced myself to T.K if I hadn’t previously hit him with a ping-pong ball. This was due mostly to my being super introverted.
When he said something that I find quite profound if not totally hilarious if taken out of context.
“Sometimes you just need those ping-pong moments.”
Depending on the context this can mean three different things and I love all of them.
In the context of our conversation it meant that sometimes you need to “hit” someone. You have to commit an action that directly or indirectly leads to you having a conversation with them. In my case, it was literally hitting him but it could have been commenting on a book or accidently bumping into him in the elevator.
Another way it could be interpreted is that you need to metaphorically hit someone. We have a tendency to place people in a position of authority as somewhat untouchable which can make it a million times harder to talk to them. I broke this veil of superiority (constructed within my own mind) with a literal action but it’s relatively easy to shift your mindset and see them as just another human being. This experience has really helped me realize that ninety-nine percent of finding new opportunities is introducing yourself and being genuinely interested in getting to know the person.
The third way I’ve interpreted it (and my personal favorite) is that sometimes the smallest most random actions can lead you to the most spectacular things. A Facebook ad here, a ping-pong ball there and all of a sudden I have an awesome network of friends. An entire group of people who are constantly inspiring me to grow and improve.
Life is full of ping-pong moments; all you have to do is seize them. And sometimes all you really need to do is be comically awful at ping-pong.
Note: If I hadn’t had the skills and drive that I do then my conversation with Derek and T.K would have been empty and gotten nowhere. A ping-pong ball is of no use if you don’t have a table or paddles.