I recently traveled to Taiwan to visit good friends. This is the second of three posts about lessons from traveling to Taiwan that matter to my law practice.
Lesson 2: Keep an open mind.
One of the must-see Taiwan attractions I heard about was the Maokong Gondola, essentially a cable car system in the air.
Photo: Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government
It travels 4,033 meters (2.5 miles) with an elevation change of 275.2 meters (.17 miles).
Photo: Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation
I am not a huge fan of heights, but I was convinced I needed to experience it. A few metro stops and a short walk later, I was boarding a gondola.
As you ride along from stop to stop, the views can be magnificent.
Photo: Liao Shuo-wen
As you ascend and move farther from Taipei proper, you can see more…
And different things.
And then there are the views directly below.
As it turns out, I did not have the opportunity to see any of those views. I boarded the gondola about 20 minutes before closing time and a few minutes into darkness and a heavy drizzle. My views included this:
I guess I could have been disappointed by the view. After all, the view from the Maokong Gondola is what everyone raves about.
In some ways, I was hoping for that ideal panoramic view even as I realized I was not going to get it. But because I couldn’t see much of anything anyway and I was a little tired, I closed my eyes.
When I let go of my expectations, I experienced the best “view.”
With a bustling city increasingly farther below and behind me, I heard rain pattering on the glass of the gondola, crickets and frogs calling from far below, and little else. I found calmness, beauty, and clarity that I did not expect and would not exchange for the best views on a clear, sunny day.
Just when we think we know what we’re looking for and how things are supposed to go, we can be surprised. An open mind helps us appreciate what we have, notice opportunities around us, and find new solutions to old problems.
How nice to be reminded of the value of an open mind in such a simple yet profound way.