It was October, 1974.
My family gathered at "The Houston Galleria" to celebrate my 4th birthday party. A favorite place of mine... "Ferrell's Ice Cream Parlor."
After dinner, ice cream, cake and the festivities, we all wondered out into the main area of The Galleria -- it's a monstrous, upscale, multi-floor shopping mall with an ice rink in the center.
That's what I was most looking forward to...
We exited Ferrell's on an upper floor of The Galleria. I anxious wanted to look down on the kids and parents lucky enough to already be skating on the rink below.
Only one problem.
I was 4-years old... and too short to see over the handrail.
"No problem," I thought to myself, as I poked my head through the bars supporting the handrail.
What a view.
A huge ice rink. Skaters swirling, twirling, and gliding about.
I must have stood there spellbound for three or four minutes. And lost track of where I was.
That is until I could stand it no more, and decide it was time to get downstairs and join the fun myself.
That was when I came to my senses.
I made an effort to pull my head out from between the handrail bars. No luck!
I was stuck.
Don't laugh... my ears were stuck.
Turns out that when placing my head "INTO" the bars, they cleared just fine. But when I attempted to pull my head out, my ears "grabbed" the bars.
Of course, for a grown adult, or even an adolescent... this would be no big deal.
But to a 4-year-old boy, this was a VERY big deal.
After a couple of pretty good tugs, I became hopeless.
And began to yelp -- followed by tears.
It was about that time that my uncle came to my rescue. And, just in the nick of time.
My "Uncle E.B." -- who was a mountain of a man, and someone I idolized -- reached down, and gently pulled the bars apart just enough for me to withdraw my head (and ears).
Now, he probably didn't move the bars all that much, but what he did was AMAZING to me.
He set me "FREE!"
And you know what... there's an interesting lesson in that story. Something you and I can learn.
Sometimes the smallest, most insignificant things can be trapping us. Keeping us from achieving our goals. Doing what we want. Getting the most out of our business, our profession, our life.
And, we just need SOMEONE to come along, and "Pull the bars apart."
We need someone to "Set us free" from the things that are keeping us from achieving what we want to achieve.
Guess what? YOU can be that person for someone else today.
Look for those little opportunities to help someone else. Help them get unstuck!
And, if you're stuck right now, be open to the universe paying you back by sending someone along at just the right moment to help you get unstuck too.