Every time we board a plane we have four choices on how to pass the time. We can spend that time, waste it, invest it in something that matters, or cherish it.
While the world around us seems preoccupied banging its pots and pans while jockeying to establish a new normal, it is important to protect the far more important world around us: our families, our spheres of influence, and ourselves.
Five things can help do this.
- Stay in close contact with things that make you happy or sad.
Social media, for example, is a barbed wire experience of protection and pain. People prone to jealousy or dealing with tough times will find social media more of a downer than upper. Block out the downers. Seek and maximize micro-moments of happiness.
- Commit random acts of kindness.
Even the strong are broken in places. Everyone we pass in the airport or sitting nearby on the plane juggles frustrations. Making a stranger smile lets two people feel better, and two is always better than none.
- Think of at least three things you are grateful for.
Gratitude is a remarkably powerful emotion.
- Think through and take this quick exercise:
- Write down five things you believe to be true about yourself.
- Once you have finished, create a second list. Write down five things that accurately describe how you feel about yourself.
The first list describes your self-image, which is what you think of yourself. The second reveals your self-esteem. If the lists don’t read the way you would like, figure out why. Sometimes we need to do more of some things and less of others.
We all have mental lists of things we do and a list of things we do not do. We also have things in life we used to do but do not do any more. Smoking is a common one, as are drinking and driving, carousing, and taking more than giving.
If something on your self-image or self-esteem list needs tweaking, consider adding the cause to the appropriate list. Money is nice, but it doesn’t solve life’s most important problems: Until you are happy with who you are, you will never be happy with what you have.
- Stay optimistic.
Life is easier by taking a “how can we” approach as opposed to one of “can’t because.” Optimists consider a setback a temporary delay and the will to persevere continues. Pessimists see setbacks as validation. Their will to persevere diminishes.
Travel empowers us to be positive forces in parallel lives. Take full advantage.
Photos: Sebnem Ragiboglu | Dreamstime.com, Nadezda Murmakova | Dreamstime.com, Pixabay