Saturday, June 16, 2007

Change The Way You Look At Things

You've heard the saying "change the way you look at things and the things you look at change" -- right?

Allow me to share with you a wonderful little example that illustrates this point so well.

Yesterday we just completed the first leg of a 3 week trip we're taking to New Zealand and Australia. We're spending 8 days in Auckland, then fly to Sydney for 7 days, then fly to Cairns for 7 days before returning home to Canada. It's a great trip that provides the perfect example of the advantages we are blessed with by operating our own home based business -- we are able to take our business with us and still enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Our travel time to Auckland spanned 39 hours from the time we left our house to the time we arrived at here at our hotel. We had stops in Vancouver, Honolulu, and Sydney on our way.

It's the flight -- or more specifically the landing -- in Sydney that I want to tell you about.

The leg from Honolulu to Sydney was about 10 and a half hours so it was a long flight. For the majority of passengers who started the trip from Vancouver, the flight was delayed by an hour in Vancouver and another hour or better in Honolulu (that delay was endured while we were on the plane and had to turn back to the gate to secure a trolley that came loose while we were taxiing for take-off).

Then, to top things off, about an hour or so after we left Honolulu there was an electrical problem with the video system, which led to some noisy crackling sounds and the smell of burning plastic filling the cabin from the overhead projector right above me.

As you can imagine, the idea of risking a cabin fire while at 34,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean did not appeal to anybody and the crew shut the video system down. So the flight now felt longer since there was no video entertainment to help pass the remaining 9 hours of the flight.

So it wasn't necessarily the most ideal trip by the time we approached Sydney.

But the best part was yet to come.

There was some "weather" in Sydney with rain and high winds. The last 20 minutes or so of our descent was very turbulent. As we approached the airport, our plane was lurching back and forth, side to side, and up and down. And it kept getting worse the closer we got to the ground.

The last few hundred feet put most amusement park rides to shame. It was breath taking, not necessarily in a good way for most of us on board. And the landing was very hard since we touched down on only the right hand side set of wheels first.

For a moment the plane swerved sharply and you could literally cut the tension in the cabin with a knife.

Except for my 4 year old son, Joshua.

For the last minute or so of the landing, his was the only voice in the cabin and he was providing a non-stop running commentary of the events. "Wow! This is awesome! Yee haa! All right! What a ride! Whoa! Yeahh! Race cars -- Wow! Can we do that AGAIN! That was FUN!"

As the plane shimmied back and forth leading many of us to wonder if it was going to catapult off the runway or flip over, my son was jubilant. After the the plane braked -- screeched is more like it -- very hard and finally came under control on the runway, he let out an exhuberant cheer celebrating the exhilaration of the ride.

"That was the best ride EVER! Can we do that AGAIN?!?"

A few seconds later, the rest of the passengers began a controlled, polite applause celebrating the fact we had landed safely. The crew chief announced to us over the intercom "Well, wasn't that the perfect ending to a perfect trip! Welcome to Sydney."

So here we were, all on the same plane ride, with the same circumstances and the same result. For most of the passengers on the plane, it was a plane ride from Hell. But for my 4 year old son, it was the "best plane ride ever".

What a tremendous lesson for me. In the space of a few moments I suddenly found myself looking at the flight quite differently. Without the video distractions, I was able to get in some quality reading time, got some decent sleep to ward off jet lag, was well fed, landed safely, and experienced a hell of a ride with an amazing landing.

What could be more perfect?

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. Thanks for the lesson, Joshua.

And thank You for reading.

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