Channeling Stephen Slater: A Call To Action!

Another day, another stressful experience at the airport. Rude people, delayed flights, long lines, and then an especially mean flight attendant: almost enough to make me want to pull a “Stephen Slater” and grab a couple of beers  and escape down the emergency evacuation slide. Almost. Now, I have to confess, as I sat there in my cramped airplane seat, the thought crossed my mind; I daydreamed about doing it, just jumping up and going. And it made me smile…a little too big of a smile, I’m sure. But just for that moment, I enjoyed it. I contemplated the look on the flight attendant’s face as I waltzed passed her as I gave her a little wink and a smile and the cheers from the rest of the passengers as I waved to the supportive crowd. But alas, it was all a fantasy. I must be better than that at handling my emotions; after all, I should practice what I preach.

So, in the heat of the moment, I asked myself if this was really something worth getting mad about. Is this how I want to feel right now? Of course, it was not. And as I have told thousands of people in my audiences over the years: you CHOOSE. We choose what we are going to let get to us or make us mad, we choose how we are going to respond, and we choose how long we are going to hold on to the negative emotions in our life.

It is not always easy to let go of the negative emotions that tend to weigh us down, but it is necessary for long term emotional well being. You can think that the Jet Blue flight attendant, Stephen Slater, is a hero or a complete idiot; it’s up to you. That is not what this is about. What struck me is what a great example he can be for the rest of us! I suspect this was not the first time he encountered a rude customer on one of his flights. I imagine he has had many days on the job with horrible passengers he has been forced to deal with, the terrible and inefficient gate agents that make his job so much harder, and even the when it does!
The lesson here is that we must take back control! We all must realize that we choose what we are going to be angry about. We choose to give our time and energy and thoughts to things that are of little consequence to the bigger picture. You may feel very irritated at a certain moment, but will it really matter 5 hours later? 5 days later? 5 months or 5 years later? If we allow ourselves to make better choices and take back control, things don’t have to pile up until they become overwhelming and we feel the need to pull our own “Stephen Slater.”

The second lesson is so simple: to give our energy only to the things that are positive and supportive of our goals. Stop  telling yourself about all the things you can’t do and figure out what you can do. As Susan Carlson said, “You can have the results you say you want, or you can have all the reasons in the world why you can’t have them. But you can’t have both. Reasons or results: you get to choose.”

I choose results. What about you? What are you going to do today to get RESULTS?

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