Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff from Week 1 of Jason Barger's 6-week course, Step Back from the Baggage Claim.
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This course is based off of the globally celebrated book Step Back from the Baggage Claim by Jason Barger. Jason spent seven straight days ï¬‚ying 6,458 miles to seven different cities - without leaving the airports the entire time! He studied 10,000 minutes of observations at all four corners of the U.S. and reï¬‚ected on how our airport experiences can teach us about our lives TODAY.
The airport metaphor leaps to life through funny and inspiring stories that remind us how to change our daily world through compassionate action. In a busy and mobile world, Step Back from the Baggage Claim is a refreshing call for Servant-Leadership, Mission, Culture Change, Innovation, and Social Responsibility. This book has sparked a worldwide movement of people committing to travel gracefully in the world.
Big Idea #1: The Baggage Claim
We've all been to the baggage claim at the airport. Everyone's waiting around anxiously, checking their watches. Then there's a buzzing sound, and the baggage starts emerging. Suddenly, the nice old lady that was standing next to you is elbowing you in the side, trying to get her bag first. There's a pressure to grab it and get the hell out. Everyone is tense and thinking about themselves.
The baggage claim is a powerful metaphor for life. We are all trying to grab something. It might be accolades or love, security, money or friendship. We've all got our own bags.
And yet, how often do we take a breath and step back? How often do we ask, "Who is it that I want to be at this moment? What is my mission in life? Why am I here?"
Answering these questions is what stepping back from the baggage claim is all about.
Big Idea #2: Stepping Back
Stepping back from the baggage claim is about purpose and perspective. When we find ourselves tearing at the bit to get to our baggage, we slow down, breathe, and ask some questions.
- Are we looking at the perspectives of other people?
- In what spirit will we enter the various new situations that come up?
- How will we travel through the world and what is the culture that we want to build around OUR baggage claim?
In the rituals of the world's great religions, we are asked to step back, to step outside of time itself, and understand what lies behind the core of our beliefs. Stepping back from the baggage claim is a quest for understanding what it is that we truly value.
Big Idea #3: The Three Types of Baggage
The things we carry weigh us down. There's three types of baggage we're usually lugging around.
The first is events. Something happens, and we see our life through its prism. Maybe the economy is bad and the negative thoughts rush in. "Oh my gosh, how will I survive in this economy?" Maybe someone left us, and that event is a heavy piece of luggage that we're dragging around, barely able to move.
Sometimes our bags are past failures. We did something wrong. We said something stupid. And we can't let it go. We're walking around, doing that thing wrong again and again, repeating those stupid words in our minds.
And that brings us to the third type of baggage. Thoughts. They spin through our mind like a storm, repeating themselves over and over. So many of them are negative self-judgments, criticisms and fears. Most of them are utterly false.
Stepping back from the baggage claim is a practice of letting go of the weight we can let go of. It is the practice that Lao Tzu spoke of when he said, "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
Other Cool Stuff:
Check out this awesome PDF summarizing the ideas of Week 1!
Click here to join our community site, where we've setup a group to connect with other students in Step Back from the Baggage Claim!
We hope you enjoyed and we'll see you in week 2!
-The en*theos Team