Have you ever noticed that you have a different experience every time you travel. One day that queue for security really bugs you, but the next time you’re struck by the efficiency of the official’s toils and feel safe that they’re doing a great job.
What’s all that about then? Well there’s a funny old explanation for this, but it is actually very simple and logical. We all create our own experience of everything, via our thinking. It’s an ‘inside job’ if you will. Think about it for a second. How can some people get on your nerves and others don’t seem to mind them one bit? How can that same someone bother you more on one day, than another?
How can one person be scared of insects when someone else isn’t. It can’t be the insects, they’re just busy being themselves. It must be the person, or more specifically, the thinking of that person.
You see, we all think. That’s how we get our experience of life in the first place. No thought, no worries. No thought, no fear. No thought, no feeling. We have to have a thought about something to have an experience of it, whether it’s good or bad. What’s more, we are always feeling our thinking, and not what we’re thinking about.
Seems a little bit obvious sometimes, but it’s easy to forget, especially when we’re feeling a bit stressed or worried. It always looks like we’re feeling the circumstances, but in fact we’re only ever feeling how we think about, what we think about.
Let me give you a little example. So if I ask you if you would feel stressed by the following scenarios, what would you say:
Scenario 1: you have 60 minutes to get to a destination that is 30 minutes away.
Scenario 2: you have 35 minutes to get to a destination that is 30 minutes away
Scenario 3: you have 10 minutes to get to a destination that is 30 minutes away.
Now what’s interesting about the results of this little survey is that for the first scenario, 1 in 5 people (or 20%) would feel stressed. They think that there might be a problem en-route (flat tyre, petrol running out etc).
With scenario 2, the percentage rises to 40% or 2 in 5. Over half feel that a 30 minute journey in 35 minutes is more than doable, so no problem.
With scenario 3 however, instead of rising, the percentage stays at 40%, because there’s almost no point in worrying about getting somewhere when you’re obviously not going to make it.
Which means that there’s no hard and fast rules about anything in life, especially our thoughts and feelings about traveling! We all have a different experience of life, because we all think different thoughts. It’s only our thinking about, what we’re thinking about – that gives us the experience. And actually, just knowing this is the case, is often enough for people to relax and enjoy your journey by the ride more often than not… kind of like seeing how a magic trick is done. If it’s not coming from out there, it must be coming from me – and I’m flying that plane!
You see, there’s so much less to worry about or change if we see that were the ones making it up in the first place.
I hope this little explanation into how the human operating system works will help you to have a more enjoyable experience and an enjoyable journey. After all, it’s your thinking… no one else’s!
Damian Mark Smyth is the author of Do Nothing!: Stop Looking, Start Living and teaches and trains stress management and creativity on a one to one basis and to businesses.