(#214) Check Your Baggage at the Door

Rather than living by the creed of F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out),
why not embrace J.O.M.O (Joy Of Missing Out)?

The story goes that when Quincy Jones was producing the song “We Are the World” with some of the biggest names in the music business, he posted a sign on the door: Check your ego at the door.  He helped guide those stars to make one the most enduring songs of the era.

Video recommendation for the week:

A video with a beautiful message. For extra credit: Can you name all of the performers?

For the past few years, at the beginning of each semester, I have a photo of a piece of luggage on the classroom screen. It’s a simple metaphor for a powerful challenge.

As I explain it to my students, we all have issues to deal with daily. Personal and professional.  We all have our own dramas, demons, and distractions contending for our time and attention.  God only knows my students do.  From single parents with multiple jobs to those who are functionally homeless to those with dysfunctional financial and personal relationships, I wonder how they even get out of bed in the morning.  They have a lot vying for the attention—and potentially robbing them of their opportunities in the classroom and around campus.

Image: Keerati/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Keerati/

Thus, I challenge them to Check your baggage at the door.  I remind them that once they walk through the classroom door it is their time.  Don’t let anyone rob that time. I ask my students to turn off their phones during class.  Besides the interruption and distraction phone usage can have in and on the class, it diverts attention from the conversations, relationships and lessons of the class.

Rather than living by the creed of F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out) why not embrace J.O.M.O (Joy Of Missing Out)?

Think about it. F.O.M.O. generally relates to someone else’s agenda, not yours. When we constantly check updates and texts, generally it is to see what someone else is doing in his/her life.  Why not focus on your life?  You are worth it.

Perhaps this would be an effective reminder as we go through our coming week. Can we check our baggage, even if for a brief while, to help us focus, rejuvenate, and appreciate what we have right in front of us at the given moment?  This does not denigrate the important and vital issues in our lives but it will help compartmentalize some time for us.

The baggage, more than likely, will be waiting for us.  The time we have given to ourselves and those we are with, however, might just give us (and others) the strength to carry it further.

I once read of a custom (Japanese, I believe) that called for a host to pour a glass wine and let it overflow into a saucer.  The host then gives the saucer and extra wine to a guest.  The lesson: “Be the overflowing vessel…find a way to make someone feel good.”

Perhaps when you check your baggage for a time you will be the vessel that helps yourself and others to feel better.

Embrace J.O.M.O!  Make it a better day for you and those around you!

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in Balance, Choice, common sense, Mindfulness, priorities, technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (#214) Check Your Baggage at the Door

  1. marianbeaman says:

    I like the luggage metaphor. Your students will get a lot of mileage out of that one. Ha!

    You are Mr. Life-Meets-Academics. I’ve always known that, and I’m happy to get up-close-and-personal illustrations of your teaching techniques.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Marian. Coming from you…that is priceless…worth more than my luggage! 🙂


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