See a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck. So goes the old adage which has served as great advice for many over the years. There have been articles in other formats that have highlighted the significant amounts of money folks have found while out enjoying the great outdoors. Runners, in particular, seem to have numerous accounts of fortunes large and small they have uncovered while out for their daily run. I have also experienced the joy of finding treasure this way on my daily treks.
Recently I was thinking about why these discoveries create such excitement. I have a job I truly enjoy which generates a good wage. Clearly the odd dollar found on the road isn’t going to lead to early retirement or put my grandkids through university. Yet, there is that feeling each time I find money. If these discoveries could generate this in me, I began to wonder what it did for others that came across this money in the streets.
This provided the opportunity I needed to create a whole new view of this money, that carries me through many of my runs today. Rather than stopping to pick up the money I spot, I use the discovery as the start of another story. One day I might imagine a young child coming across the coins on a hot summer day and enjoying an ice cream cone with her grandpa. The next day it might be someone who finds the dollar and buys a winning lottery ticket and then donates money to a local charity. Perhaps it will be one of the many homeless people I see who purchases a warm bowl of chili on a cold night. I have created many scenarios and, depending on the length of my run, a myriad of possibilities. It has afforded me much more than the accumulated wealth ever could have purchased. On those days where I might be reluctant to head out the door, the minute I start thinking about the potential adventures waiting to be created, I can’t be held back.
I’ve also added a bit of a twist lately where I’ll pick up the money and then drop it in a different location. Some times it will be a place where I know lots of kids will be like a school or park and other times it will be a high traffic area. The danger in this is that you must ensure no one is following close by. I had one polite fellow runner who picked up his pace to catch me and return the dollar I had dropped. There are days when I have created such an engaging story that I want to stop at the sight of the coins and watch my drama unfold. Of course, this would defeat the intent and instead I leave the spot with a smile on my face.
As for the old adage, I’ve modified it to see a penny, leave it there and think of all the joy you’ll share.