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October 18, 2007

Arrived back home about 12:30 am from the trip.   As I was all but forbidden to take my laptop with me on the trip, I resorted to cryptic scribblings on a legal pad.  There’s a lot of interesting stuff – some for work strategy, some thoughts for the blog, and some for personal life.

How many times in life do you find you really needed to find five minutes more in the schedule?     An hour and a half through boarding passes, and what looked like a whole stadium worth of people packed into the security lines meant that the final boarding call for our flight was booming over the loudspeakers as I was retrieving my wallet and loafers from one of the little grey bins coming out of the Xray machine.   Running to the gate, waving my arm in the air and and yelling for them to hold the door.   Five minutes more would have allowed us to present ourselves with style and grace, instead of the desperate display of those not wishing to spend untold hours waiting for a later flight.  Where to find those five minutes?   I played back the morning in my head as the plane taxied.   Ten minutes lost making the wrong call on which bus station platform to run after.   There is a strategy.   Three minutes looking in the gravel driveway at home for a lost pen, dropped somewhere between the door and the car that seemed important to find at the time.  We had hours until our flight.   I came up with probably at least a dozen places in the morning that if I had done one thing different I would have had that five minutes.  Of course, on the flip side, I could have made one more mistake and missed the plane.    That was a consolation.

Life is full of those seemingly inconsequential decisions made hundreds of times daily.  Rarely, do we stop to reflect and observe the ripple effect of our decision making on the outcome of the day, the week, the year.   Most things don’t seem to matter.  We chalk it up as rounding errors.  

Next time your running the stairs, late for a meeting with no time left to await the elevator, ask yourself what you could have done differently to find those five extra minutes.


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