“Flying sucks,” my buddy said to me.
The day before he missed his flight and he was still ruing over it.
Arriving at Newark an hour early for a 6:50am launch, he was shocked to discover a 2+ hour line for security.
“Even though I was flying first class, there was no priority security line and no one would help me,” he whined.
Then when he got on the next flight, which was already going to make him late for his first west coast meeting, “fucking United” ran out of the meal of his choice and he had to settle for “something worse than corn flakes.”
“Screw that,” he fumed at the hostess and again to me in recounting the story.
Although I had stopped listening at “flying sucks” he continued to tell me how decades ago flying was a “luxurious experience where you could literally get a carved roast dinner sitting in the back of the bus.”
Finally, running out of fresh manure he reiterated, “Flying sucks.”
Tuning back in I asked him, “How’s that working out for you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you’re still flying aren’t you? So how is getting pissed working out for you?”
Happiness researcher Barry Schwartz says, “The secret to happiness is low expectations.”
Hence, the secret to misery is to maintain unrealistically high expectations and then constantly look for the ways they are failing to be met.
So I asked my buddy, why not update your expectations?
Instead of romanticizing how flying might have been decades ago, why not instead expect flying to be as painful as it has been for the last 15 years?
“Or perhaps even better,” I said to him, “expect every flight to be 10X worse than the experience you had this week, and then every time it is better you will be pleasantly surprised.”
Either way, the secret to being miserable is it is your choice.