I chuckled as I stepped from the rental car pavilion onto the shuttle bus to the Kauai airport. The distance to the terminal was quite short, forming a circle of about a quarter mile; if I walked the straight shot rather than taking the bus, I probably would have gotten there quicker!

I set my bags on the rack, took a seat, and nodded to the driver. He closed the door and stepped lightly on the gas. I joked, ³I¹ll bet you get pretty bored making the same trip in circles all day!²

The fellow turned his head slightly, smiled politely, and answered, ³I¹ve never made the same trip twice.²


³I always meet interesting people on the bus,² he added. ³I like to talk to them and find out where they¹re from. They usually have some good stories about their vacation. I love this job!²


What a huge lesson this humble driver taught me! I was stuck in circular thinking. He was glowing with joy. He took a potentially monotonous job and transformed it into a game he just kept winning. As the ecstatic Persian poet Hafiz declared, ³It¹s all just a big love contest, and I never lose.²

Boredom is not a condition; it is an attitude. Anything can be boring if you bring a closed mind to it. Anything can be fascinating if you bring an open mind to it. You can make anything out of anything.

A woman once sent me a small stone with a pencil drawing on it. The rendering clearly depicted the profile of a woman looking up at a bird. It was quite beautiful. As I looked more closely at the stone, I saw that the artist had not etched these lines; she simply traced some lines that were already in the stone. As I read the enclosed letter describing her art business, I learned that she takes objects from nature and finds patterns in them. Then she highlights those patterns. She does not consider herself a creator; she is a magnifier. Her art reminded me of Michelangelo¹s famous response when he was asked how he crafted a sculpture as magnificent as ³David.² ³I just saw David in the stone,² he explained, ³and chipped away everything that was not David.²

I am amazed as I observe little children watch the same video over and over and over again. My goddaughter watched Three Men and a Baby 21 times! An adult would be bored after the 2nd or 3rd viewing. But children have a wonderful ability to always find something novel and fascinating. They do not undermine new experiences by trying to stuff them into old boxes. They live in the thrilling now moment, which is always fresh and alive. As the mystic Kabir noted, ³Wherever you are is the entry point.²

The closest experience I can equate to watching videos repeatedly, is listening to inspirational cassette tapes. I have listened to some of the same tapes many times, and I do not get bored. To the contrary, I hear new material every time. On one of my favorite tapes, a workshop participant asked the teacher Abraham how it feels to keep answering the same questions over and over again. ³Oh, we¹ve never answered the same question twice!² Abraham responded. I wonder if Abraham knows the shuttle bus driver.

My young friend Matthew keeps me on my toes. One day when I went to visit his family, he greeted me at the door and asked, ³How are you, Alan?²

³Just fine, Matthew,² I told him.

Ten minutes later he asked again, ³How are you, Alan?²

My first impulse was to tell him, ³You just asked me that, and I told you I¹m fine.² But just as I was about to speak, I stopped and realized that ten whole minutes had elapsed since our last conversation. All kinds of things could have happened in those ten minutes! In that period of time, people are born, people die, people make ecstatic love, people get enlightened, and in the ocean just a few miles down the road, billions of undersea creatures go through zillions of microscopic life cycles. For some critters, ten minutes is the span of their whole life. If I were fully open and available to the flow of spirit, I could be an entirely different person in ten minutes! Of course Matthew had every right and reason to ask me such an illuminated question.

Scientists tell us that there is no cell in our bodies more than seven years old. Every organ is constantly rebuilding itself with new cells. Why, then, does your body look the same, or older? Because the new cells go into old patterns which are established and perpetuated by repetitious thinking. If you could think and feel anew with every new moment, you would hardly age. In fact, if anyone asks you how old you are and you answer with any number over seven years, you are fibbing.

I think that Matthew, the Kauai shuttle bus drive, Abraham, all of the children of the world, and all the animals, are in cahoots. I think they get together and have secret meetings to figure out how to surprise, confound, and entertain the rest of us who are marooned in the past and future. They are dispatched by an insidiously brilliant conspiracy designed to keep us from getting hung up in our creaking beliefs. Thank God for innocent souls who delight in life; otherwise we might have it all figured out, and then what would we do?

In the Bible, when Moses approached the burning bush on Mt. Sinai, God told him, ³Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.² The same instruction applies to us: Wherever you stand is holy ground. Wherever there is life, the ground is holy, and life is everywhere. The question is, are you in it?

No, it¹s never the same trip. God is too original to do the same thing twice.

By Alan Cohen


  • Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the best-selling Why Your Life Sucks and What You Can Do About It, the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life and his newest is the prosperity guide Relax into Wealth.

    Alan is an Empowering Caregivers featured expert, learn more about Alan

    Or visit his website at: alancohen.com.