The story goes like this:
You decided to call a pizza place to deliver your dinner to you tonight. You are super tired after a long day, and cooking seems far beyond your capacity at the moment. Plus, you have been working hard. You have gone through a lot of discomfort.
I get it. You deserve a treat — your favourite Pepperoni or Quattro Formaggi reward.
30 minutes later the delivery guy rings the buzzer. He is a person, but you might not fully realise it — this is how hungry you are. In your perception it is more like the pizza itself is ringing your doorbell.
The delivery guy is just a vehicle necessary to transport your dinner from where it was prepared to where it is going to be consumed.
Upon opening the door, you are way more focused on your pizza than on the delivery guy — isn’t that true? You pay attention to hand him the right amount of money, take the box into your door and maybe take the change. Mentally, you are already feasting on your couch, bringing the much-needed comfort both to your physical body (satisfying hunger) and emotional body (possibly filling an emotional void).
You don’t look into the delivery guy’s eyes, do you? You don’t really care about how his day was. Or whether he slept well last night.
Just be honest and admit that you don’t.
By the way — have you just felt attacked, as if I was accusing you of not giving a damn about the delivery guy? Did it sound to you as if you should care?
Interesting, because I never meant to say that. I was simply trying to establish a few facts about your situation:
You are not interested in whatever the delivery guy did before bringing you the pizza.
You are not tempted to look into his eyes.
And you are not concerned about whether he has problems sleeping at night.
Now, there is nothing wrong with you not being curious about the delivery guy’s personal life. Nor is there anything weird about it. My guess is that 99% of the people who ever ordered a pizza feel about the same amount of interest towards the delivery guy as you do.
The next question is:
What would you say if I asked what you think about the delivery guy?
Can you make a guess about his financial situation? Do you have any assumptions about his ambitions? Can you imagine how he spends his leisure time, or what his friends are like?
Take a moment to reflect on these questions. What kind of images is your mind producing right now?
I know a delivery guy. He works for one of the most popular food delivery companies in Berlin. He doesn’t drive a car or scooter — he rides a bike. He likes to be active and exercise, therefore cycling as a means to do his work is something he really enjoys.
What he appreciates the most about his job is the fact that it is flexible and pays well at the same time. He needs the flexibility to pursue his two greatest passions — music and travelling.
He is into electronic music, and he has just put his first album together. He did it all by himself, recording the sounds and vocals in his room and then mixing them on his Mac. I haven’t listened to the album yet. He is very careful about showing it to people, as he is still working on the final touches. The complete version will be released this autumn.
He says that after his music is out there and his name exists in the music world, he will decide how to take it to the next level. The idea is to be able to sustain himself by creating exactly the kind of music he feels like creating.
Meanwhile, he has recently been to Nepal and India for two months. He came back only a few weeks ago, after having explored the overcrowded Indian cities and doing a 16-day trek in the Himalayas. The trip made him change and mature — it is very obvious how much he has grown during that time. To me, he seems much stronger, braver and confident in how he wants to live his life.
He is quite an emotional person, and his eyes become wet easily. Whenever I talk to him about his family, he emphasizes how supportive they have been throughout his whole life. He is full of appreciation for how he was raised — especially for the freedom he received from his parents to make his own decisions.
He has felt independent since he can remember. At the same time, he acknowledges that the upbringing and love he received as a child allowed him to build the amazing life he is living right now.
Cycling for the delivery company, creating music, travelling and nurturing the relationships with his girlfriend and friends — these are the things that fulfil him at the moment. When I asked what aspect of his life he would like to change, or what his biggest problem is, he struggled to find the answer. He honestly thinks his life is perfect the way it is.
Changes will come organically, for sure — he said. — Because this is just how life works. But I don’t feel like I need to change anything actively at the moment. Life is just so amazing!
The delivery guy is a happy and fulfilled person. His job fits his lifestyle and sustains him so that he can pursue other goals and projects. And this is exactly what he wants.
But there are many other delivery guys in this world — and each has their own story. A story you will never know — because you are way more interested in your pizza.
It’s a fact, isn’t it?