Three Ways to Capture Those Missed Opportunities

I travel a good bit with my job.  At Organization Impact, we come to you.  Sometimes that travel involves rental cars and often it includes airplanes.

On a recent trip I met Janet.  My connection through Chicago was taking me to Alaska.  Hers to Hawaii.

She was a friendly woman who made the 2 hour trip literally fly by.  Here is what you need to know about Janet.  She has visited all fifty states and every continent except Antarctica. Oh and she is 79 years old…make that young.

As we chatted I asked her to describe her favorite trip to which she replied, “the one I am on right now.” I loved that.  She went on to say, “ Who knows what is in store for me on this trip!”  She did say there were three memorable sights that have really stood out to her through the years: walking on the Great Wall, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Parthenon.  She said, “ Who would have thought that a gal who grew up in the hills of Virginia would ever see such things.”

Regardless of where you grew up, currently live, or even your age, I think we call learn a thing or two from Janet.

#1 Life is short. Don’t miss out on opportunities that come your way.
Janet didn’t really have a “plan” to see certain parts of the country each year but she said she never missed a chance to experience something new.  For her, that meant joining her son on a business trip or taking her grandchildren to a state park.  She looked for opportunities. Travel might not be on your list of hobbies but what is? Life is too short to wait for “some day” or “when I have time”.  What is that one thing you need to reach out and grab?

#2 Perspective comes with new experiences.
Janet said one of the things she likes the best about her travels has been the opportunity to see other cultures. “It helps broaden my perspective,” she says, “to see more than just my little part of the world.” You know that is true of so many areas of life. Broadening our perspective – on anything – requires an intentional purpose. Without it, we can gradually slip into “our world” and shut out the possibility of anything different, new and possibly better than where we are today.

#3  Grab a souvenir for yourself.
Janet likes to purchase unique souvenirs from the places she visits.  On her trip to Costa Rica she purchased a water color portrait that caught her attention. It was painted by an elderly gentleman in a nursing home there. In Peru, she purchased a blue jade gem she put in a necklace.  Each time she views them, she is flooded by a memory of that unique place and remembers something she learned there. Interesting thought. I wonder how my life would change if I was more intentional in grabbing a “souvenir” from my new experiences – something that will remind me of what I have learned along the way in my own journey.

Janet and I parted ways in Chicago.  I have no doubt she had a ball in Hawaii – her best trip yet. My chat with her on the airplane will definitely be my souvenir on this trip.

What about you? What needs to be added to your list today of possibilities. Make it your best yet!

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