Lessons Learned from the Airport Dash
Whether I’m heading to a conference, a client’s location or to visit friends and family, I’m traveling more than I ever have. The thing about being a frequent flyer is you’re always looking for ways to save time -- even short trips can take half a day, and long lines, delays and missing meals can really zap your energy.
Plus, like any good business person, I take a certain pride in my own efficiency (time is money still, you know), and what better place to test your skills than at the airport, a place where they seem to burn more time than fuel.
So, I set off to get from my home to my destination in the shortest amount of time. Now, I know where to park for maximum efficiency, how to find the most direct route to the Uber stop and have even gained the intuition to know when to take public transportation.
I know exactly how much 2 ounces of liquid is, and I always plan ahead to wear the right tie clip so I don’t get derailed by a friendly TSA agent.
But then, one day I witnessed something that made me stop in my tracks.
A woman was ushering her kids through security. I looked at her son, who was thrilled to be at the airport. He studied his surroundings with abandoned wonderment and a gigantic smile on his face. This was all an amazing adventure for him. Time meant nothing.
I began to wonder when had I lost that sense of excitement and curiosity.
Was the ability to maneuver my way on and off the plane with athletic grace and record all that important in the long run? When had efficiency overshadowed the joy of living in the moment?
I used to have zero tolerance for people who were taking too long and slowing down my process, but when had being first in line to board the plane become more important than starting a conversation with someone, or even lending a helping hand?
It’s true that when we travel, we’re focused on connecting to our next destination. But losing the connection we have to the here and now robs us of our joy of living in our current surroundings.
Plus, we really can live in the moment, be compassionate, have conversations with other travelers and still be efficient. We’ll probably still be at our destination with plenty of time to spare.
Next time you travel, take a moment to look around you. Say hello to your fellow traveler as you place your shoes in the plastic bin. Offer up a genuine smile to the TSA folks (they may not have seen many lately.) Look out the window and admire the engineering masterpieces all around.
Then get going...you’ve got a plane to catch!
Interested in Learning More About Having Balance?
At David Couper Consulting, we help make executives, managers and department heads better leaders through proven coaching techniques that center around concepts such as mindfulness, authenticity and compassion. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation about how we can help you, and how it can be profitable for your organization.