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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

The Mess We Made in 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, May 3, 2012, in Rochester, New York.

Boulder Coffee is an interesting place—a beautiful, open-area coffeeshop 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 dozens of 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 dozens of 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:

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

Enjoy the Mess. We’d made a mess—no doubt about it—but we still had an opportunity to enjoy the moment. Instead of 50 people, we had five 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.