I was up and down the East Coast last week. I started in Philadelphia for a couple of nights attending a sales conference. I ended in North Carolina for two more days looking at budgets and strategy. I travelled alone and together and alone. I was with old friends, by myself and with new friends.
I many ways it was a classical ‘travel and meetings’ week. Some aspects were stunningly good…some not so much. Things I had thought about a great deal worked OK…some areas I had hardly considered worked incredibly well. And everything in between.
As I struggled to stay awake on Friday evening sitting back home in the UK…I found myself thinking about my week…the highs and not so highs…the good and the not so good…the expected and the unpredictable.
And as is often the case…I found myself focusing on the little things…a moment here or there…something that happened – or shouldn’t have…something someone said – or didn’t say…a slide that really worked – or that miscued…an unexpected question – or a confusing answer. Minutes during a long week. Seconds even. Moments!
How can it be that so often these sorts of moments can end up feeling like they define a week? How nonsensical is that? How unrealistic? How unfair. How not to spend a Friday evening! And so I decided, very deliberately, to identify and write down three moments of sheer unadulterated enjoyment. Three delightful moments from those same days and places and occasions last week. Just to see how it felt….as an experiment. The little things yes…but the good little things.
That moment on Thursday in North Carolina when I realised my final day of meetings were all in a location less than ten minutes’ drive from the airport…and that I was booked on a direct flight straight to London. No internal US connections. No rushing across terminals. No second security inspection. No delayed arrivals or departures. No need to extend my concentration. Rather I enjoyed a rapid transfer, laughter, enjoyment, beer and wine with friends in an airport bar, straight onto the plane, a more comfortable seat than I expected, and seven hours later…back in London! What’s not to love?
That moment on Tuesday in Philadelphia when I looked around the room and realised the commercial team I was with was exuding confidence. They were walking on water and ready to walk through walls. They were riding past distractions and were focused. No excuses, no ‘what if’, no blame being assigned anywhere to or from anyone. A new quarter, the last quarter of the year, our quarter, our year. A team together and sure.
That moment late Friday evening when I opened an email with a cryptic, acronym based title. That moment of delight when I realised I was reading a collation of spontaneous and positive feedback from so many of our partners describing their satisfaction on the work we have done together these past few months. Calling out individuals and teams who had helped their projects work and advance. Who had prevented issues, solved problems and seized opportunities. What a summary and what a delight.
And my experiment worked. It took my no time to identify these three moments. And there were so many more I could have easily chosen. I felt good. And pleased and positive about my week. Even those moments I had been fretting about earlier seemed less of an issue…more of an opportunity. I found myself planning and looking forward.
But then I stopped myself. Found my wife. Gave her a hug. Told her how much I love her. Mentioned my great trip. And asked about her week….