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Yeah, yeah – I’m one of the many who got caught in travel mayhem last week.

That’s the boring part.

But something pretty cool happened at the Charlotte, NC airport.

I had made it that far on Monday. My connecting flight to Chicago was cancelled. It quickly became apparent that I would not make it to Chicago at all last week.


So I sat in the central food hub around 11 AM, munching on some oatmeal and biscuits, slurping my coffee, waiting for my return flight to Florida.

Then the phone of the man sitting at the table behind me rang.

I admit. I was the worst kind of eavesdropper. I was entranced.

The man, a fellow who I could not see, was telling a buddy on the phone that someone close to him had not been responding to phone calls for days. Finally on Sunday, the day right before this moment in the Charlotte food hub, his mom had gone to the missing person’s apartment. By now I gathered that the missing person was this man’s sister.
When his mom opened the door she found the sister’s dead body laying on the kitchen floor. The mom saw signs of foul play in the kitchen. Called the police. 
The man briefly told his buddy of his sister’s troubled life. His regrets of not having been closer to her. The family’s regrets about not having been able to save her.

All of this was uttered with a dispassionate voice, as if the fellow were still totally numb by what had occurred.

In that moment, all the nuisances of my disrupted business week became irrelevant.


I switched into a broader perspective of what matters. I made a mental switch.

That was the gift of this fellow’s phone call.

Sometimes we are blessed. External forces demand that we shift perspective. They almost do the shifting for us.

In daily business life, moment by moment, meeting by moment, we are constantly challenged to shift perspective, aren’t we?

When we don’t, our mental energy gets stuck. Our body gets tied up in knots.

The body knots are informed by our mental knots.

It is no fun to stay knotted up.

This week, notice any mental knots you encounter. Your mental knots are energy that got stuck. Notice, and contemplate ways of making a mental shift.

Shift quickly. Shift with grace.

My week, of course, unfolded just fine. My client in Chicago figured out a way for us to work via teleconference.

And I appreciate my mental-switching-reminder.