It was a balmy 25 degrees and radiantly sunny on the Sunday afternoon that we drove from Ottawa to Montreal. It was from here that we grabbed a direct 7 hour flight from Montreal to the border town of Basel, Switzerland – close by to our final destination in Southern Germany.
As we checked our baggage and were funnelled into the boarding area passed security check points, I looked around and was immediately surrounded by stores full of vast quantities of tchotchkes, gossip magazines, and booze all at insane uneconomical markups.
It’s a cheap tactic since as the consumer you have nowhere to go. But with a little bit of forethought, I was equipped with books, brain games, my phone, and other reading material! “Thankfully I was prepared! Who the hell wants any of this crap anyway? I wonder how many people actually buy this stuff.” I thought. But as I looked onward, alarmingly large sums of people wandered into these stores, lining up at the cash registers like somnambulist zombies.
Apparently EVERYONE wants this crap! People wanting last minute magazines and other one time garbage before flying. What a gold mine operation these guys have setup! Seeing it all unfold from an outside perspective did reward me with one personal benefit however. All of this reminded me to be mindful and practice forethought.
Although flying probably isn’t a common occurrence for typical people like myself, when you do fly, why not come prepared? And if you don’t come prepared, try to resist your urge to buy sh#t you don’t need beyond the flight! That’s an impulse buy that does NOT bring LONG TERM VALUE to your life!
Why not practice being a badass and meditate on your flight? Be alone with your thoughts and reflect upon thyself? Or maybe strike up a conversation (a bit of a lost art these days, I know) with the person next to you.
It’s good to be bored – out of boredom, creativity energy flows! Google it yourself or check out this Harvard Business Review article on it with links to a couple studies if you’re interested!
Being mindful transcends far beyond airports of course, but this serves as a practical example from my recent travels. Mindfulness and forethought are extremely powerful tools when it comes to being in control of your finances and other areas of your life. Taking a moment or two everyday to reset and remind yourself of what is important to you, and to remain centred on your self-valued principles is crucial to living the life you want to lead, whatever that may be.
What sort of mindfulness techniques do you use in your day-to-day life that make an impact?