I just returned from a very long weekend in sunny Tampa, Florida (a welcome respite from frigid Connecticut). I attended the Stagecraft Secrets Lab of the National Speakers Association, a content rich and motivating conference.
I had the opportunity to learn from gifted speaking professionals such as Mikki Williams, comedian Tim Gard, director/actor Michael Alloso, as well as emerging new talent such as 27-year old Chris Bashinelli of Bridge the Gap TV promoting global citizenship (He was extraordinary!)
With my cup full, I was eager to return home to implement some of the great new ideas shared at the conference…. And then we got to the airport.
Flight DELAYED. Wouldn’t you know it….Not once, not twice, but three times delayed. We had to catch a different flight in order to have any kind of chance of making our connection out of Miami. We landed with 15 minutes to make the connection, and gave it our best Olympic sprint through the airport. The next gate seemed like a million miles away.
Sweaty, tired, and heart pumping, we made it to the gate only to have an American Airlines employee inform us that the flight just took off. My travel companion and I looked at our watches. It was 5 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. Since when do planes leave EARLY?
But there was no sense in arguing, the plane had left. We needed to shift into our contingency plan. Rebook our flight for tomorrow and get to a hotel.
Not an unusual travel story
With this year’s continuous winter storms, many flights have been delayed, cancelled and rescheduled. Thousands of travelers have been inconvenienced. Airlines have endured extra expenses in taking care of stranded customers.
With the changes in airport security, you must plan ahead. Today I got a pat down by TSA officials because my blouse was sparkly and set off the sophisticated scanning equipment. This may not be a fashion violation, but clearly it was a security threat. (Note to self: don’t wear that blouse again while traveling)
Humor to my rescue
I have been known to have melt downs during situations like this; however, two factors helped me rise above it all to maintain my sense of humor and decorum, i.e., my cool. One great boost came from my travel companion, professional speaker Dr. Dorothy Martin-Neville. With her by my side, I was motivated to be flexible, calm and good spirited. Yes, that’s right: the great motivator was motivated.
The other inspiration was professional speaker and comedian Tim Gard who had performed at the NSA conference. This man is hilarious and speaks on the challenges of travel and how to have fun despite the obstacles, delays and grumpy co-travelers.
In his hilarious keynote speech, Tim Gard encouraged us to have a comic vision and to constantly look for ways to have fun when you travel. He reminded us that “Everyday is a series of good and bad things,” and that you will have moments of “bummer” and moments of “woo hoo,” as he put it.
Tim, a million mile flyer, has developed a series of travel strategies to ensure that he has a good time and shares them with others that he encounters during his travel adventures. Watch his short video on how he uses rubber chicken feet to deter people from moving his suitcase in the overhead compartment.
Use humor as a business skill
This is the important message that Tim Gard delivers.
Humor helps you change your perspective which then allows you to change your experience (even when traveling!)
Humor and laughter are also very good for your health and well being. It can cure you and your dis-ease.
Humor can be leveraged to get yourself out of difficult situations, and often times can get you extra bonuses (like upgrades).
Humor adds joy, levity and relief to yourself and other people that you work with and travel with.
Yes, humor is a business (and life skill) that adults need to relearn and put into practice everyday.
- To enjoy more Tim Gard videos, visit his web site – http://www.timgard.com/meetingplanners/video.html
- If you want to purchase your own rubber chicken, check out the wide variety available for purchase at Amazon.com
Put these ideas into Action
If you find yourself stressing out and taking everything too seriously this week, try mixing in a little more humor. See how things change for you and those around you. Use humor first for yourself. Then share it with others. Be in the right FUN frame of mind. Remember to smile often this week. Laugh out loud frequently. Set an intention to enjoy and have fun at work, in your travel, during your commute, with your family, and in your life this week. No matter what happens, find the humor and joy in it.
“Comedy is tragedy – plus time.” – Carol Burnett