Inspiration from traveling…

This is a re-post from March 2010 – Three life lessons from traveling:

Many frequent travelers learn a few ‘tricks of the trade’ and develop certain attitudes that help them deal with the stress of traveling and keep sane. I believe some of these provide useful lessons for life:

  1. Travel light. It’s perhaps the most important advice on traveling. Packing a smaller bag requires planning, discipline and focus on the essentials. It saves time at check-in counters. It’s easier to unpack. Less clutter means better focus, and fewer chances of leaving something behind. You can also move on at short notice. Doesn’t that apply to life too? Whether it’s your desk/desktop, wallet/purse/bag, wardrobe or the house… fewer things mean less clutter, less time wasted on finding stuff, less energy on the maintenance. The same applies to having thousands of ‘friends’ on Facebook, receiving tons of junk mail, maintaining dozens of credit cards… the list goes on. Less is more; lighter the better; quality over quantity.
  2. Be prepared for surprises. You learn during traveling that everything is not in your control, and things don’t always go as planned. Flights can be delayed or cancelled; your special meal onboard is often mixed up; bags don’t always make the connection; hotels can be over-booked; Internet doesn’t always work… And it’s not because the world is conspiring against you and everyone is out to get you. You can accept these situations with calm or fight and argue and get upset. I often remind upset fellow passengers: There are usually three reasons for a flight to be delayed: there’s something wrong with the plane, or the pilot, or the weather. And I am glad they have found out while we are still on the ground. The same applies to life. Despite great intentions and excellent planning, things do go wrong. And we have to learn to distinguish between situations (that can’t be changed) and problems (that can be solved). Unfortunately, so many people waste so much of their time and energy fighting with situations.
  3. Enjoy the moment. Just like the unpleasant surprises, Continue reading