The other day I was in my original home town of Napier travelling to the airport to board a flight to Christchurch for a huge speech that evening. Heading to the airport I realised I was cutting things pretty fine to the final check-in time and I started thinking to myself “should I check-in to the flight via the app?".
All I need to do is push the button at my fingertips, but I’d be there soon and hey it’s a tiny airport I’ll just do it all when I get there. I arrived at the airport, went to the kiosk and it printed out a ticket saying that I needed to go to the counter. I was 60 seconds late for my check-in and therefore not allowed on the flight. I was furious within, furious that I’d been so blasé, that I’d had the ability to check-in all morning and didn’t. Immediately it was easy to come up with a whole lot or reasons why I should be excused, given special treatment; my frequent flyer status, the fact I had no luggage, the fact that the plane was still 29 minutes from boarding, the fact this was a work trip… but in the words of my Scottish grandmother “rules be rules” .
Why I share this experience is for the universal lessons of which there are many but there’s one I choose to focus on, the one about embracing opportunities that are so often at our fingertips, not necessarily in the form of a phone or an app but metaphorically. By not embracing my opportunity I’d created pressure not needed, I’d set my day back four and a half hours, and came so close to losing a job and tarnishing my reliable reputation.
How often do we not embrace our opportunities because of what we tell ourselves: the weather is not good, the time is not right, the equipment is not perfect… we justify the reason not to do something because we take time for granted. Sometimes though, this attitude can smack us in the butt. By embracing the opportunities we are given and not delaying what is important we don’t have to create excuses for not achieving, we have higher measures of gratitude, we continue to develop our excellence.
So whether it’s a trip you want to experience, a marathon you want to run, a business you want to establish, a conversation you want to have, a life you seek to live... have a good look at the opportunities you can embrace now because waiting can lead to unnecessary challenge.
Fortunately I made it to Christchurch but rather than having hours to get ready for my speech I had minutes and gained all the pressure that went with that... Fortunately I also always give myself more time than needed but that’s another story.
Enjoy your awesomeness.