By Janet Wood
It’s less than 24 hours before leaving on an airplane from Los Angeles to Calgary Alberta, I’m packing and prepping to be away for 4 days to visit some friends, and my mind is scanning all the things I know I’m going to need for my trip. Toothbrush, neck pillow, clothes for cold weather, which let’s face it, I’m from LA. There is no amount of real preparing you can do for the snow if you’re not ready for it. When you’re in LA, your “winter jacket” is a pleather jacket that doesn’t even close in the front and you wear it over a light t-shirt that says IT IS WINTER. BOOM. Winter outfit. Anyone know what I’m talking about? (And I’m an LA native so I REALLY don’t know what to do with snow. Why is there ice on the ground? Is that fake?)
I’m super excited because I’ve been planning this trip for about 4 months, I’ve never been to Canada before, and I’ve blocked off my work schedule to make room for me to really enjoy time with friends. I’m going through my list, and suddenly, MY HEART STOPS: “My passport is updated, right?” Anyone else had a similar “OH CRAP” moment where your heart stops, because in that instant, you realize “I think I really messed up”. I hadn’t looked at it for a while, and it suddenly dawned on me. Canada is a FOREIGN country. Did you guys know this? If my passport is not updated, I don’t think they’ll let me in. Despite how nice people say they are. I RUSH to the drawer I keep my passport in frantically hoping that it hasn’t expired and holding my breath. Sure enough, my intuition was correct. It had just expired a month earlier. As you probably know, passports only have to be updated every 10 years. When I originally got my passport 10 years prior, the year 2018 was so far away, it felt like 2045. It’s like my brain permanently told myself that I didn’t have to worry about that for a long time. Not only that, the underlying “belief” I had about Canada was that it was somewhere I could go to as easily as New York or San Francisco.
When it comes to our behavior, it’s often based on how the world is occurring to us. My passport was occurring to me as “not needing updating for a LONG time” and Canada was occurring to me as “not a foreign country” or “too nice to prohibit me from entering”. Naturally, my behavior followed suit and it never occurred to me to check my passport ahead of time. How you’re relating to things, places and people will directly or indirectly affect your performance and is the driver behind the results we create. So the question for everyone today is “how are you currently relating to your circumstances and the world around you? How are you relating to your boss, your friends, your co-workers, your family? How is that affecting how you show up on a daily basis?” That being said, having to cancel my trip and disappoint my “very nice” Canadian friends stuck with me enough that I don’t think it will ever occur to me.