I suffer from no illusion that I’m about to introduce you to some innovative strategy that will suddenly change your life. We’ve had at our disposal for generations a powerful tactic which can immediately reduce stress and redirect our lives in a more positive direction.
I’m certain at this point you’re probably thinking something like: “If that’s true, why don’t more people do just that?” Well, if I had the answer to that one, I’d be signing copies of my best seller in the lobby of New York City’s Barnes and Noble. In fact, that’s the million-dollar question in today’s chaotic world. Why don’t more people make an effort to enhance their lives when it costs nothing more than a mental re-frame of the way we think?
Let me share an example. I recently flew from Detroit to Miami to present a keynote presentation for a long-time client. As usual, this was one of those flights that are so common place for me. In the row ahead of me, across the aisle, was an elderly couple traveling with two, yes two, miniature dogs in cages which fit under the seats ahead of them. Directly in front of me was a couple with a young child who was peacefully sleeping as the plane took off.
Minutes into the flight, the two dogs began barking at each other for some reason. I don’t think they stopped until we landed in Miami. Two minutes in the air and the barking dogs woke the young girl in the seat in front of me and she began to cry. I’m sure she was attempting to drown out the annoying sounds of the barking animals.
Moments later the pilot blessed us with a dual announcement:
- the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t working on this particular flight
- we were heading into a storm front and would be experiencing some rough travel conditions ahead.
At this moment in my typical flight, I’m usually asking myself, “What else could possibly go wrong?” … which creates a negative attitude, which soon leads to a migraine headache. The perfect addition to barking dogs, a crying child, no Wi-Fi and a bumpy ride!
Well, over the years I’ve learned how to manipulate my re-frame abilities and search for a more positive mind-set. In doing so, I suddenly recognized the following facts:
- I’m sitting in a comfortable seat in a metal tube 50,000 feet (almost 10 miles) in the air with more than 200 fellow travelers!
- I’m traveling at more than 700 miles an hour! On the ground I’d get a speeding ticket for anything over 70 mph!
- Outside the plane the temperature is 35 below zero! I’m perfectly comfortable in the plane in shirt sleeves.
- I’m going to arrive in Miami in just three hours. If I were to drive the 1,411 miles non-stop, it would take me close to 24 hours!
Realizing the enormity of where I am, where I’m going and what I’m doing, I think I can weather the challenge of the barking canines and screaming youngster. I can live a few hours without my computer, and I have a seat belt to make the ride a lot smoother. I simply insert my dependable ear plugs, adjust my therapy neck support pillow, recline my seat, close my eyes and welcome the embrace of the Friendly Skies!
THAT’S a re-frame and every one of us are capable of doing the same thing whenever we choose. The question lies in why more of us don’t do it more often! Think about it. It’s YOUR choice!