BANGALORE: In John Guare’s play Six Degrees of Separation, the character Ouisa has a conversation with her daughter Tess in which she offers the following insight:
I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet. The president of the United States. A gondolier in Venice. Fill in the names. I find that a) tremendously comforting that we’re so close and b) like Chinese water torture that we’re so close. Because you have to find the right six people to make the connection. It’s a profound thought how every person is a new door, opening up into other worlds. Six degrees of separation between me and everyone else on this planet. But to find the right six people. Ousia was right. It is profound to think that you and I are separated from all the other people living on this planet by at most six people. She was also right in noting the real challenge: finding the right six people to connect you to the person you need to know.
One of the things I have done in my own life is to create what I call a Hero List, that is, a list of one hundred men and women I would most like to meet before I die. Since the law of attraction says that we attract in life, that which we most focus on, this list is a tool I use to help me connect to the people I most admire. On more than one occasion, the Six Degrees of Separation principle has helped me find the right sequence of individuals who have led me to the person I’ve wanted to meet. And I am continually astounded by how many of the individuals on my list, which includes celebrities, business leaders, and other professional speakers, seem to cross my path in an airport or to be speaking at the same conference that I am or are having lunch at the same place that I am. The very act of listing my heroes seems to create a heightened sense of awareness that helps me spot them when they are close at hand.