I live in New York City and work in Myrtle Beach, SC. I fly a lot. I am not sure what the probability of having an issue with your flight is, but I feel like my percentage is much higher than it should be. I’ll admit, I have been the problem occasionally. Like the time I booked a flight from the wrong destination, the multiple times that I booked the wrong dates, or the time I didn’t even book a flight at all. Some of the issues are a direct result of flying with Spirit Airlines, who makes almost zero effort to actually get you to where you are going. And some issues are the result of Mother Nature, like the so-called “weather” that led to my flight being canceled yesterday. But I have flight disruptions to thank for a positive behavior that I have developed over the past few years.
Airports are not happy places in general. The agents at the desks are rushing you. TSA agents are barking orders at you. Babies are crying everywhere. The environment takes its tolls on the flyers, who are stressed out by the time pressure, the rules, and the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of all things that is the airport. But the worst is when you jump through all the hoops and your flight gets canceled. It is soul crushing. Now you have to wait in some ridiculously long line to get on the next flight, perhaps with an extra connection, and go through the process again.
Except I love it when my flight gets canceled, delayed, or when the airline loses my luggage. It is the highlight of my day. Why? Because I have travel insurance which provides me with $250 to spend on necessities (read: amazing steak) when my flight is delayed and $500 on clothes (read: brand new suit) when my suitcase does not arrive on time. For example, last year my flight was canceled during the blizzard and I took 8 people out for sushi and sake. How fun!?
There are many different axioms out there that encourage you to be positive. But I have found them much easier said than done. I am not great at staying positive. There are some days where things just don’t go as I plan, and it really throws me off. But having this recurring event (flight cancelations) where I enjoy an otherwise unenjoyable circumstance has had a profound psychological effect on me. I have realized that something that is out of my control does not have to ruin my day, and have been able to apply that idea to other events of my life.
Now I set up some sort of reward ahead of time that correlates to a specific bad situation. My idea of a reward is a little weird, so if I have a really bad day at work I reward myself with a killer leg workout. But how great would it be if every time Verizon’s internet connection slowed to tortoise pace, you got to try a brand new beer? Or if every time it rains on you while you are walking in the streets, you treat yourself to a new episode of Orange is the New Black (instead of binge watching it)? Then you can get excited every time your videos stop streaming and maybe you will skip in the rain on your way home.
Set up a system for yourself now to remain positive in the future. This way when life gives you lemons, you can forget about those lemons and have a gin and tonic.