A recent business trip reminded me just how different air travel was a few short years ago.
Show up 1/2 hour early… bring the kitchen sink…
far fewer rules.
So it was that while our family was vacationing in Southern California in the late 90’s, I was able to connect with an old friend and business associate living up in Los Gatos.
I called my Travel Agent (!?!) back in Wisconsin, and she booked me on a flight four hours later from Los Angeles to San Jose for just shy of a hundred bucks.
I like flying Southwest Airlines; friendly staff, sit where you want, first come – first served.
As I arrived at my waiting area, the flight at the gate next to mine had just boarded, leaving rows of empty chairs. With a love for wide open spaces, I left the crowd at my gate and relaxed next door with the magazine that I had just purchased minutes earlier.
Suddenly the silence broke, “Tell me that plane hasn’t left yet… I NEED TO BE ON THAT PLANE!!!!” The young man, obviously stressed, tossed his boarding pass on the counter and literally ran down the jetway. The gate attendants waved him through, and calm returned.
Several minutes later, one of the workers, looking at the computer screen said, “Grab that boarding pass… was he going to Phoenix?”
“Uh – oh…” came the response. “He is now.”
Beyond the amusing anecdotal elements of this experience, I have returned to its memory many times for the lessons to be learned. As leaders, we must identify where we’re going (the mission or goals) in each area of our lives, plan the most effective route to achievement, and eliminate any obstacles that stand in the way.
And yet, so often we find ourselves in places other than where we want to be. It can happen in our businesses… in our finances… or our health… our giving back … our relationships… marriages… children… you name it.
Many will look outside themselves in an effort to blame this or that, but the truth is that we are exactly where all of our own actions and decisions and plans and lack of plans have brought us.
If we’re not where we want to be, then doing more of the same is clearly not the answer. And doing it faster and better will only get us to the wrong place quicker. Before putting our heads down to charge forward, let’s be sure we’re on a path, or in a vehicle, that will get us where we need to go.
Otherwise, we may one day find ourselves in Phoenix, when our destination was Kansas City.
Our past actions, thoughts, habits, and decisions have brought us to where we are right now.
Our current actions, thoughts, habits, and decisions will determine where we are in the future.
What is one area of your life that you would like to change right now?
I look forward to hearing from you.