if you can inspire people, you can lead.
A true story - 30,000 Feet
A salt shaker was on a plane one night headed for a relaxing weekend, and little did he know that the next 3 hours would have such a profound impact on his life.
He found himself boarding a flight to be seated next to an older woman who had asked for his assistance in putting her bag in the overhead compartment. He obliged… She then asked him: “are you sitting next to me? Oh that’s fantastic, nice to meet you. She was a mid 60’s year old executive working for a technology company in NYC.
After exchanging pleasantries 30,000 feet in the sky, the Shaker asked: “so when do you retire? You’ve worked hard; you’re very successful and have achieved all the things that you set out for yourself.” She simply replied: “I don’t plan on it, I love my job, I mean, and I really love the people I work with and the opportunity to continue to meet great people. When I was new at the firm I remember wanting to meet people and build my network, and now, I know too many people but still enjoy making new friends.”
As the conversation progressed it was clear that this woman’s spirit was alive and as vibrant as an artist’s palette could be. Full of energy, full of life… She asked the shaker about his background, job etc. and he referenced the Shakerz lacrosse team he played on, the color pink and the support for breast cancer initiatives. She knew of lacrosse and was intrigued by the pink equipment and uniforms after looking at photos on his iPAD. Her eyes lit up with an exciting calmness, and smiled saying that was really cool, and seems like a great group. “I’m a cancer survivor… I was diagnosed at age 51 and told I wouldn’t last much longer… but as you can see I’m sitting here next to you and this is not my ghost, I’m really here…”
After a quick laugh, he was taken back a bit but listened intensely… She took a sip of her club soda: “I asked myself, what I wanted to accomplish with my life before I died? There were 3 things… 1) I wanted to visit Las Vegas, 2) I wanted to have the best sex of my life, and lastly I wanted to go to Amsterdam… And I’m happy to say that I did all three, and Amsterdam was amazing. Ever since then, I’ve spent everyday just being happy. Happy for the great friends I have, happy for my life, and all the things I have done and have yet to do. I have no children so I’ve got all the time in the world but my schedule is still packed”. The older woman then began to explain how her weekends are consumed with gym classes in the morning, shopping with friends at lunch, and dinner with more friends in the evening. My boyfriend is amazing and I’m going to see him next weekend too…
The young man and woman exchanged life stories and laughs for the full 3 hour flight like old friends reminiscing about the high school days. The topics ranged from relationships to sports, food, money and having a healthy diet. The two had plenty in common. She said to the young man: “There are no accidents in life…I’m gonna give you my contact information”. They exchanged information and when the flight landed the young man helped the woman with her bags and the two went their separate ways. In the taxi while checking his phone the young man had a new message in his inbox. It read: “Thank you for staying awake or I would have been working the whole flight; it was so refreshing to meet you. Have a wonderful life”.
The young man was moved to a tear as he reflected on the recent events. Could it have been anymore of an unlikely pair? He took a moment and thought:
- The world is full of genuine, caring individuals who want nothing more to share their joy with the world.
- There are no obstacles that you can’t overcome; put your mind to it.
- Take the time to listen to those who have lived longer than you… there is infinite wisdom that needs to be passed along to future generations.
- Chase your dreams, do what makes you happy… Live life to the fullest, and don’t take a second for granted. At some point the music will stop.
- Although we are not all given the same opportunity in life, we all have an OPPORTUNITY to live.
- Remember to be happy, smile, and spread love… that’s what the world needs more of... More love…