I love air travel and how easily we can move around the world. That is, of course, until things do not go to plan. On Friday evening I encountered some challenges while flying to Seattle:
- I could not use self-check machine due to a systems error with my ticket. This meant standing in a line for 40 minutes to check my bag (instead of no line)
- The gate for my flight changed four times. Three of them seemed real, and the other was a mistake (halfway to the new gate they announced “we made a mistake please come back”)
- Our aircraft had a maintenance issue and after a short delay they switched us to another aircraft at the other end of the terminal
- We boarded our new aircraft nearly 90 minutes late. We then waited at the gate for them to transfer the catering and cargo from the broken aircraft
- The load was too heavy for the aircraft and they asked 6 people to get off the plane to stay overnight (they looked after them)
- Then we taxied out to the de-icing pad. Third in line, so it took a while until we were de-iced and ready to fly.
- In all, I arrived in Seattle over 4 hours late. As I climbed into bed at 2:30am (PT) I was both exhausted and happy.
It would have been easy to get myself all worked up about these delays. I could have blamed Air Canada for the circus, or been upset about the inconvenience of a four-hour delay.
Truthfully, I do not think anything of the experience. First, I reached my destination in Seattle safely and that is all that matters for me. There is no one to blame. Even if there was, what purpose would it serve to get upset? Air Canada and the crew did the best they could on a very snowy evening.
I talk about living my life free, powerful and at choice. It is in moments like this I am at choice. I enjoyed the company of the other passengers and flight attendants. I got some writing done and watched a couple shows. I even managed to sleep for a couple of hours in the air.
Thought of the week
When things happen in your life you get to choose how you will respond in that moment.
Getting upset and stressed is a choice I could have made Friday night. Getting angry with Air Canada or the situation would have only stressed me out. I still would have arrived four hours late, only with higher blood pressure.
Why make life more stressful than it already is? Laugh at the things which get in the way of your plans. Enjoy the company of the people all around you. Marvel at how our control of life is an illusion. Shift your perspective of an inconvenience to the opportunity to …
Life is best lived at choice! What are you going to choose today?
Such a nice, thoughtful post! Thanks Mike!
It’s very much in line with the session you ran at Systems Thinking TO a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you! It is definitely in line with The Responsibility Process.