Life Lessons Learned from my trip to New York City

New York is a great city with many wonderful places. It is filled with great experiences and opportunities for everyone. It is an intersection of various cultures, consisting of people from different nationalities and backgrounds, different kinds of foods and lots of places to shop. The city consists of majestic and tall buildings with wonderful architecture and amazing views all around. There is something for everyone in this great city. I drove to New York city for a day trip recently. We entered New York city by driving through the Lincoln Tunnel from New Jersey.

We had a great time as we drove around the city. It was a beautiful day filled with beautiful sunshine and a few clouds scattered across the sky. It was a bit chilly but was not bad at all for a November day. We drove around the city though the various streets and avenues enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds including the historic Times Square. We also visited the Empire State building.

Personally, I learned some great life lessons from our visit to New York City.

1. Top of the World Experience:

We visited the Empire State building. We took the elevator to the 86th floor observatory. Once we reached the 86th floor observation tower the view was just amazing. We could see all over the city. The 86th floor observatory is at 1050 feet(320m) above the city streets. It is said that this observatory provides unmatched panoramic views up to 80 miles in each direction. The North, South, East and West views were amazing.

I felt like I am on the top of the world while I was on the observation tower. I noticed a similar feeling with the tourists around me. I wanted to stay there for a long time, but there are other places to visit and we had to move on…

In our real lives all of us will experience this kind of “Top of the World” feeling during some point or other. There are times where we feel like we have full clarity of life. We can see everything clearly around us. We feel like we are in control. This is a wonderful experience. We would all love to be there all the time. But in reality we have to move on and this kind of experience might fade away before we come across another top of the world experience at a later time.

We have to understand how blessed we are as we go through the “Top of the World” experience. We have to praise the Almighty God for all the blessings. We see King David in the Holy Bible praising the Lord for His greatness in Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” We should also learn to share those blessings with others.

2. Tunnel Experience:

Driving through the Lincoln Tunnel was a totally different kind of experience.  The Lincoln Tunnel is 1.5-mile long tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan in New York City.

It was not a good feeling as I drove through the Lincoln tunnel. I was looking forward to driving through the tunnel as soon as I can. Only thing I was able to see were the few cars ahead of us and the traffic on the opposite side. Finally I saw  the light at the end of the tunnel. It was a great feeling of relief when we were finally arriving at the end of the tunnel and I took a deep breath as I finally drove and came out of the tunnel.

Again, all of us can relate to going through this tunnel experience at some point or other in our lives. We look forward for such experiences to end soon but we have to pass through the tunnel first to get to the end of the tunnel. As we get through life we encounter these situations. It could be a sickness, loss of job, loss of a loved one, a broken marriage or can be any issue that can steal the joy from our lives.

We have to keep praying and praising God as we pass through the tunnel. We have our Hope in the Lord and we  should have faith that He will get us through the tunnel safely. Always remember that there will be Light at the end of the Tunnel.

In the Bible King David went though similar tunnel experiences many times in his life. We see him write in Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. So be of good cheer as the Lord will protect us and will lead us through in this kind of tunnel experiences. Also from the Holy Bible, Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

3.Technology Failure Experience:

Another interesting observation while driving around the city on the 38th, 42nd streets and around the Times Square region. My GPS system was failing  as the reception was not good because of the tall buildings around us. It shows the way for a few seconds and then it starts  “Recalculating”. This was not good. We had to rely on the good old printed maps, which my wife picked up from the local AAA office that morning.

We rely on technology so much but we have to remember that technology can fail us and could leave us helpless in unknown locations or situations in life. We all can relate to situations where the gadgets that we relied on like the GPS, cell phones, laptops that failed to function more than once during critical times.

For the direction in life, I personally rely on the printed map of life which is “The Holy Bible”. I read it daily for my inspiration and direction for my life. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light on my path.”

4. Traffic Experience:

Another observation while driving in the city was how all the vehicles were trying to get ahead of each other. The yellow cabs and other vehicles are cutting across. They are driving fast and not letting other vehicles get past them. But I took my time and drove ahead keeping my cool and tried not to be annoyed by the things that are happening around me but concentrated on enjoying my view as I drove through the city.

We come across similar experiences in real life as we see people around us trying to take short cuts and cut corners in order to get ahead in life. We come across this kind of people everywhere, whether it be on the highway, or in the workplace, or the mall or at the movies. It is not anyone’s fault. That’s how people are and they do things based on their priorities and values. Each person is different and everyone has their own agenda and goals in life.

Don’t get upset when someone cuts ahead of you on a highway. That person could be going though an emergency situation or hurrying to attend his little daughter’s concert at her school or his son’s little league baseball game. May be he is a son or a daughter rushing to the airport to pick up his or her mom or dad, who they did not see in along time. This kind of thinking will change our perspective. Personally when I started thinking this way, I experienced a paradigm shift and started to look at things differently.

In a recent note from Stephen Covey, he writes “In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose. Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings. We may have limited choices but we can always choose. We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles. It is the choice of acting or being acted upon.”

Some Points to remember:

These experiences could occur at any point of time, in any order to anyone.  They could occur many times during our lifetime and in no particular order. They can be brief or can happen over an extended time.

There is Hope for the future, which means there is power in the present. So we should make the best use of our time and resources and use every opportunity that we come across to help create a better future. Count your blessings and be thankful to God everyday.

As there is something for everyone in the great city of New York,  same thing is true in our lives. Life is full of choices. At the end, the choices we make will make us. So choose wisely and make a difference wherever you are. Remember that it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

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