Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baggage on the Trip of Life

Have you ever had to drag a load of luggage through an airport? As you’re running to catch your flight you think to yourself, “Why did I pack so much junk?” I just got back from a three week speaking and gamification design tour that included places with diverse climates -- Las Vegas, Boston, Johannesburg, and Cape Cod, and each trip to the airport had me calculating if maybe I had packed far too much and was carrying too much weight with me.

Yet, we may walk around every day carrying a couple suitcases full of shame, fear, insecurities, and a distorted view of who we really are. It may be words or thought patterns that have stayed with you your whole life. This kind of baggage weighs you down as you drag it around, day after day.

Its torture and you end up getting nowhere fast.

Take a play from my What Were You Thinking Playbook that I do in many of my workshops called The Baggage Sweep. This tool will help you to unpack and start travelling a little lighter.

How to: Imagine that you are planning a trip to some fun or exotic location. What would you pack for such a trip -- swim suit, shorts, jacket, etc? Just as if you when you were packing your bags to go on a trip, every morning you get up and pack an emotional suitcase.

Walk through each of the steps below to identify and release the emotional baggage that is holding you back from achieving all you want in life.

1: Acknowledge It - For example a childhood disaster, your parents weren’t what you expected them to be, or situations that happened at school. Even if it wasn’t a fairytale existence it is OK to acknowledge it.

Step 2: Own It - You may not have caused it and you can blame it on whoever you like, but you won’t move forward unless you own it. You have to wrap your arms around it and take personal responsibility.

Step 3: Get someone to help you carry it - Talk to your family and friends about the excess baggage you’ve been carrying around. If you are holding a grudge go find the person and apologize. Forgive others. And, if the bags are extremely heavy, you may need some professional help. If you continue to focus on the negative, you will be negative. Find the help you need.

Step 4: Move forward and pack lighter! - Move forward, pack lighter bags. Make a decision to leave the bags behind. Life is too short. Don’t wear emotional baggage like it’s a badge or cross you have to bear. Focus on the future and where you want to be.

What kind of baggage do you carry around each day on the Trip of Life?

What do you have to do to own it? (For example: What pain do you keep reliving? What negative feelings do you need to let go? What do you need to do to get emotional closure? Who do you need to forgive?)

Who can you talk to that will help you unpack the baggage? (Remember: You are unpacking – not commiserating on how you were wronged!)

Make a decision to leave the bags behind. You can't change the things that happened in your life, but you can decide how you interpret and respond to them. Find a lesson in what happened and develop your own standards for packing. Write your own script about you and your future.

Is it time to unpack and get rid of the emotional baggage that been holding you back? Perhaps the more junk you unpack and get rid of from your past, the easier it will be to find your way toward the future you really want.

More articles on thinking differently to achieve uncommon results:

About the Author: Monica Cornetti
Founder and CEO, Sententia
www.SententiaGames.com www.monicacornetti.com

A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is rated as a #1 Gamification Guru in the World by UK-Based Leaderboarded. She is the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio program.

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