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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: CBS, BBC, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

The Mess We Made in Rochester

Rochester

We all make mistakes. Sometimes our mistakes take us to an unexpected place. Other times we screw up and we have to face the mess we’ve made.

We were standing amidst one of those mistake-fueled messes last night at Boulder Coffee in Rochester, NY.

Boulder Coffee is an interesting place—a beautiful, open-area coffee shop with plenty of tables and chairs and artwork and, of course, plenty of space. Perhaps too much space. At least that’s what we noticed when we arrived for our evening meetup. Expecting to find the shop brimming with the 37 people who’d RSVP’d for the event, we were instead greeted by Alex and Mike and three other smiling faces—and a sea of empty chairs.

Where is everyone? we thought. The adrenaline was still rushing through our veins from the night before where we were greeted by 35-or-so Clevelanders in a similar venue, and we were ready for an excellent repeat. But no dice.

So why was Rochester any different? Apparently, one thing was radically different. Online, we had unknowingly posted two Rochester meetup dates, informing readers that our meetup was scheduled for either May 3rd or May 8th, depending on which page you viewed.

Crap. That was a big mistake.

So we had two options at that moment:

1. Panic. We could transition into panic mode, cancel the event, and reschedule it for a date in the distant future. Or…

2. Enjoy the Mess. We’d made a mess—no doubt about it—but we still had an opportunity to enjoy the moment. Instead of 37 people, we had 5 sitting with us, listening intently. Why not toss our expectations out the window and make the most of the evening? Why not enjoy the mess we’d made and find a way to make the evening a meaningful one?

We chose the latter, and we enjoyed an outstanding meetup with a handful of outstanding people.

You see, whenever we make mistakes, it’s important that we learn from those mistakes, that we use them as an opportunity to grow. But it’s just as important to enjoy the moment for what it’s worth, to be happy with whatever is in front of us, to find value in our mistakes, to enjoy the mess we’ve made while we clean it up.

That’s all you can do.

So, to Rochester, thank you to the folks in attendance last night; thank you for the meaningful conversations. And if you planned on attending on May 8th, we’re sorry. Sometimes shit happens; sometimes we make mistakes. We’ll be back. One day. In the meantime, we’d love to meet you at a different tour stop.