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Coping Lessons from a Rolling Suitcase

by Dave Balch, Founder,

My speaking career requires a lot of travel and I take great pride in saying, “I bring everything I need to every program except a wall on which to project my slides.”  That means I have to schlep close to 25 pounds of gear including a computer, projector, speakers, wireless microphone, and all of the cables and extensions necessary to hook it all up.

Since I don’t want to check baggage containing sensitive electronic equipment, and to make this as easy as possible I bought a carry-on suitcase that sits on four wheels, making it a breeze to roll through an airport.  That suitcase has been on over 50 trips, and one of the wheels has started making a loud humming noise.

I was making my way through an airport today when I realized that that noisy wheel was making me very self-conscious.  As I walked along, I noticed heads turning to locate the source of the noise that, depending on the type of floor and acoustics in the area, can sound like a swarm of locusts.

That self-consciousness was stressful.  I won’t say that my heart was racing or that I was breaking into a sweat because of it, but it did cause a little tension that was palpable.

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been a big deal and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.  But since I am under so much pressure these days, why should I put up with even a little annoyance when I don’t have to?  To eliminate this stressor, minor as it is, requires very little on my part: just get it fixed!  I was going to get it fixed eventually anyway, but realizing its effect on me made the repair a higher priority.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our stresses could be remedied so easily?

What little annoying things in your life can you easily reduce or eliminate?  Look around; you might just be surprised at how much you can lighten your load with very simple fixes.

© 2010 by Dave Balch. All rights reserved.

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