For me it all started with my recent attendance at PIA of Ohio’s Agency Management and Profitability Conference. As I glanced at my program I read that our opening session was called “Step Back from the Baggage Claim”, and the speaker’s name was Jason Barger. Having no idea what that title meant, I was intrigued to hear Jason speak. Little did I know that his words would shake me to the core.
Jason told us his story- in the quest to step back and gain new perspective in his life, he decided to take a journey. 7 airports in 7 days, over 6,000 miles traveled, without once leaving the airport. He ate airport food, slept where he could and was reduced to the most basic of needs. His main goal was to observe human behavior, reflect on his observations and relate it to other life experiences. He then wrote a book about his experiences, which I bought and devoured in 2 evenings (I highly recommend reading it- it’s an easy read and forces you to slow down, step back and think).
And that’s the point- Stepping back from the Baggage Claim” is about gaining perspective, creating space and allowing for something greater to emerge. It’s about creating a new spirit for the obstacles, delays and cancellations in life.
Although Jason said A LOT during his presentation, here’s what he said that really hit a home run with me.
Being present in your life is the greatest gift.
We’re always rushing to the next meeting, next appointment, next whatever, without taking time to enjoy what’s happening at the moment. If you have kids, you’re fully aware of what I mean. I catch myself thinking about “the next thing”, without enjoying whatever I’m doing now. I’m all for planning, but if you’re always focusing on the future, I think you miss some great moments that you’ll never get back. And honestly, what are we all racing towards? We all have the same eventual finish line and no one gets out alive. So, what’s the hurry? Live in the moment as much as possible.
Be intentionally compassionate.
For the naysayers, I’m not talking about skipping, holding hands and singing “Kum-Ba-Yah.” What I’m saying is be observant of your actions and the effect those actions may have on others. Start small- look someone in the eye and smiling. Say good morning. Step Back from the Baggage Claim and let someone else who may be genuinely struggling take his turn. By embracing a compassionate spirit, we reinforce being human. And bringing back the humanity in our relationships has never been more important. Our on-line world and virtual relationships are wonderful, but they are NO substitute for real-life interaction.
For more about Jason and his mission, please visit www.stepbackfromthebaggageclaim.com. Thank you Jason for your message. It was a wake-up call I desperately needed.
What’s your opinion? How do you “step back” and regain your focus? Is this all a bunch of hooey? Or is there more to it?