AienWhen you are feeling frustrated, how do you handle it, get angry, yell, internalize and let it eat at you?

I suggest doing something for someone that can’t do anything for you, it will completely change your perspective. Many of you know I travel a lot; last year it was about 150,000 miles. On Friday evening my flight was late leaving Mississippi, after running from gate E31 to B13, jumping over one stroller, three old ladies and a Pekingese, I missed a connection in Charlotte by about two minutes, huff, puff, hack, wheeze!! When I arrived at the Customer Service counter to get rebooked and figure out which gate I was going to sleep at, it was 10:25pm. I was number 17 in a line of people that were tired, frustrated and made the grumpy cat on Facebook look like a ray of sunshine. I had an important meeting Saturday morning and was feeling agitated like the other people in line. I had two choices at that point, be grumpy like everyone else or do something to change my mind set.

I decided to help others be less stressed. I asked some of the other people where they were going and why, some of them cheered up as they told me about the family members they were going to see or the adventures they were going to have. A few places in front of me was a lady with a two-year little boy that still had his batteries fully charged, mom however was running on empty. His name is Aien and he is the typical 100-mile per hour two-year old boy. He was spinning around, bumping into people, throwing his stuffed monkey in the air, dropping his hat, bumping into to people, falling down…well you get the idea. Mom was frazzled and her exasperated, “Aien, sit down, Aien, pick that up and Aien, calm down” were woefully inadequate at achieving the desired result. I decide to she needed a break and asked if it was okay to talk to him.

The first thing I did was to take out my travel companion, Sam, and let him play him along with Aien’s monkey, Sam felt sad that Aien’s monkey had no name, but that’s another story. After he became bored with that, I took out a tablet and some white board markers and let Aien draw. For the next 30 minutes mom didn’t have to say his name one time except to praise his artwork. He alternated between playing with the monkeys and drawing, mostly on the paper, but his arms were fair game as well. The time went by pretty quickly as I talked to Aien and his mom.

I could hear people all around me on the phone, to friends, family members and Customer Service complaining, whining and even cursing, forcing toxins to flow through their bodies. My intent was to help someone else but I probably gained more than Aien and his mom. My stress completely melted away and I had an enjoyable time putting light, instead of darkness and vitriol, into the world.

I spent the night in a Four Points Sheraton, on US Airway’s dime, and flew home first class the next morning in plenty of time for my meeting.

You get to decide your response to every situation, choose to make the best out of it. Maybe it will be by asking, “How Can I help?”