Reflecting on the Good Times
I had arrived at the airport about 30 minutes before the required check-in to catch an early flight home. It had been a very busy three days for me on an interstate trip with lots of meetings, business to do and new customers to meet. So I was glad to have the extra time to make my notes on what I needed to action when I got back to my office the following day. Equally, it is always a great feeling when you complete your ‘to do’ list, as well as the sense of control that comes from getting it out of your head and onto paper, or should I say into the laptop.
Then came the announcement that I am sure all air travellers loath to hear – the flight had been delayed indefinitely due to a technical problem with the plane.
As I sat in the departure lounge I could see a group of technicians and ground staff rushing about, obviously endeavouring to fix the problem with the plane. I watched and listened as many of the passengers sitting near me shared their frustration about the inconvenience and why couldn’t the airline just wheel out another plane or put us on another flight. A steady stream of passengers lined up at the departure desk only to receive the expected up date from the customer service attendants that they can do very little other than ask us all to be patient and that as soon as they can get us away, they would call the flight. The mobiles phones were working over time throughout the departure lounge as passengers left messages for business associates and loved ones to update them on our predicament.
As I sat waiting for the announcement which would no doubt bring cheers from all of my fellow travellers, I reflected on my last meeting for the day. It was not a business meeting but rather a very enjoyable and all to brief lunch with an old business associate and friend I had not seen for over 12 years, and who I had worked with for nearly 15 years prior to us losing contact. I had been given his contact phone number by a customer I had visited on the first day of my trip, so I called him out of the blue and made a time for us to meet. Our lunch was spent recalling times gone by and as well filling each other in on what had happened in our lives over the last 12 years.
Our conversation was punctuated with statements such as ‘remember when we did ….’, ‘whatever happened to ….’ and of course the one we all liked to hear …. ‘you know you haven’t changed one bit, except for a few more grey hairs.’ We both laughed and smiled as we recalled the good times and the great experiences we had shared over the 15 years we had worked together. Each event we discussed triggered another recollection and everything we talked about centred on the good times and only served to energise each of us during the course of our lunch. Almost simultaneously, right at the end of our time together, we both said how much we both enjoyed it and that we must do it again. We agreed to catch up when I was next in town, then said our goodbyes and I was off to the airport.
So as I sat waiting for the announcement that my flight was finally ready to depart, it was great to have this additional time to revisit and replay in my mind all that we had talked about. I realised at that moment just how important it is to have regular reminders of the good times in your life and to be able to take the time to reminisce, for so much of what we have done in our lives, shapes us and makes us who we are today and beyond.
Sandwiched in between the busy time of my trip and the focus on getting business done, I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to take a short break and reflect on the good things that had happened in my life over 12 years ago. It was somewhat like looking at an old photo album that you have found stored away in a cupboard in your house, there before your eyes are lots of wonderful memories in print that take you back to that time and place, and most importantly to those people who are in the photos. It also made me realise when you get caught up doing what has to be done in the moment, how easy it is to forget the people you have met in your life who have made a positive impact on and enriched you, often in only the smallest of ways.
My flight home was finally called nearly three hours later and yes as you would have expected many of the passengers cheered when the announcement was made. I smiled as I boarded the plane and realised that I was not at all upset about the delay in the flight departure, as I had been able to spend much of my time reflecting on the good times from days gone by and I eagerly look forward to many more opportunities to reminisce.
Inspired by Vasil Delvizis, my business associate and good friend from times gone by and written by Keith Ready.
A Different Perspective
I am a great fan and admirer of Cirque Du Soleil and over the years have been very fortunate to
see a number of their absolutely sensational shows. At each of these shows, I have joined thousands of other people in the circus tent to reflect in total awe on the amazing and seemingly impossible acrobatic feats in each performance. When this is coupled with the larger than life sense of theatre that engulfs everyone, it leaves you inspired and full of appreciation for what you have just seen.
Just recently I had the opportunity to see the same Cirque Du Soleil show for a second time within a space of about a month. At the first show, my wife and I were seated about thirty rows back from the stage, so you could imagine it was not easy to see all the expressions on the faces of the performers or for us to fully appreciate the passionate effort that they put into their individual performances. However, what we were able to enjoy was the wonderful panorama of the overall performance.
At the second show, we were fortunate to be seated in the second row just a couple of metres from the stage and we could now see close up the performers and their expressions. Equally, having seen the show before, we both looked forward to seeing our favourite segments for the second time.
Driving home after the second show, we talked about which of the two shows we enjoyed the most and also whether it was better to sit close to the stage or further back. We agreed that both shows were equal in terms of their spectacle and enjoyment, but from two totally different perspectives. In seeing the show for the second time, our appreciation of the absolute brilliance of Cirque Du Soleil was significantly enhanced and without doubt will always be remembered.
In the days that followed it occurred to me that there are some parallels between the experience we had at the two Cirque Du Soleil shows and what happens in our every day lives when we deal with the many challenges that face us. How often do we make a decision about something important to us based on one single viewing of the facts or act just on what are our first impressions of the situation, without taking the time to gain a better feel for things. By way of example, when we read a good book or watch a movie for the first time it is so easy to believe that we now have a full understanding of all that we have just read or seen. Then at some later point, if we read the book or watched the movie for a second time we are almost certain to discover lots of other important things that we missed the first time around.
Whilst we often don’t have the opportunity to consider an important challenge or situation for a second time before we make a decision about the course action we will take, we should always endeavour to make time to stand back and view things from afar in order to gain a perspective of the bigger picture, and then be able to revisit the challenge or situation close up to see the finer detail and further improve our understanding.
In the light of the different perspective that a second viewing can provide to us, we would then be in a better position to make a more balanced and considered decision about the action we should take. I am sure if we all strived to do this, the outcome may very well be as enjoyable and uplifting as my second visit to Cirque Du Soleil.
Inspired by Varekai presented by Cirque Du Soleil and the two different perspectives of the same sensational performance and written by Keith Ready