A number of years ago I bumped into an old family friend, a senior partner at a law firm, on the 7:30am Delta Shuttle from New York to DC. For me, catching that flight was always a discombobulated mad morning dash of stuff and stumbling through security (shoes, belt, bag, computer…) and grabbing a few newspapers for the flight.
As we were going down the aisle in the plane I noticed he had nothing with him – no briefcase, no suitcase, nothing. I asked him about it and he said, “They asked me to come down to DC for the day, so I’m going. What they asked for is me and that’s what they’re getting. Nothing else.”
It was said tongue-in-cheek, with a smile, but I liked the point he was making.
At some point you need to strip it all away, the busyness and the stuff, the laptops and the schedules and everything unnecessary, and realize that in the end it’s just you, laid bare. What you have to offer, the clarity of your insights, what you, unadorned, bring to the table.
Clean, simple, no additional baggage.