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Say “Yes” to the Unexpected with Your Uniqueness

Opportunities, especially those that promise fun or push us out of our comfort zones, should be cherished and seized. Recently, while in Mexico, I was invited to the birthday party of Efraín, who oversaw the construction of our home over a decade ago.

The celebration was filled with laughter, tequila, mole, music, and an unexpected chance for guests to sing with the Norteña band hired for the occasion.

The lead singer, with infectious enthusiasm, went from table to table, inviting individuals to share a song for the birthday honoree. When he came to our table, I allowed the chance to sing to the festive crowd and Efraín slip through my fingers.

The attire of cowboy hats and boots, and familiarity of heartfelt Norteña songs surrounded me, and I felt a little out of place, even though I at least had on my favorite cowboy boots for rancho cred. In the end, I passed on the opportunity, and the singer moved on to others who readily grabbed the microphone and belted out their favorite with heartfelt emotion.

Reflecting on this missed oportunidad on the way home, I realized the importance of embracing such moments. It wasn't about knowing the popular Norteña songs everyone else sang. It was about seizing the joyous opportunity to contribute something unique, especially to Efraín who was the man of the moment and my dear friend.

In retrospect, I realized I could have chosen an English song, perhaps belting out a Garth Brooks or Chris Stapleton classic, even a cappella if the Norteña band couldn't follow. What a missed oportunidad for celebration and rancho cred, Gustavo-style.

The lesson was clear for me – don't let unfamiliarity deter from the thrill of a new experience. By declining, I missed the chance to make the celebration even more special with a touch of the uniqueness I could have offered in that moment, just by being myself and delivering what I had to offer.

It's a reminder that life's most memorable moments often come from stepping outside of our comfort zone and taking risks by looking inside ourselves, embracing our uniqueness, and bringing it forward to the opportunity, to the moment.

The next time an opportunity knocks, whether it's a chance to sing at your version of Efraín’s birthday party, embrace it. Whether you're choosing to sing in a language unfamiliar to the crowd or trying something entirely new, remember that the richness of life lies in saying “yes” to the unexpected with your uniqueness, and by doing so, turning opportunities into cherished memories.

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