Airplane travel is exhausting.
That’s one of the stories I would tell myself when I first started traveling for work. (And unlike what I do now, work was actually work).
The story of exhaustion would involve cramped airplane seats, screaming babies, and jetlag. I’d show up to my destination exhausted and come back home even more exhausted.
Now, I tell myself a different story.
Airplane travel is delightful.
Think about it: When you fly, all you do is sit on a chair. You might complain about “flying all the way to New York,” but you didn’t actually do anything. You didn’t fly the plane or serve coffee and pretzels to ungrateful passengers. You just sat there.
The best view in the world is out your window. It never gets old for me. The clouds, the cities, the mountains—and if you’re lucky, lightning in the distance. A front row seat to nature’s magic show.
You can read books, listen to music, watch films, or just stare out the window.
If you need something, you just push a button. Other people bring you food and drinks—to your seat!
What’s exhausting about any of that?
Yes, there are parts of travel that aren’t as glamorous as I’m making it sound (I’m looking at you, United Airlines, for canceling my flight the other week).
But I wanted to share this perspective to make a broader point: The stories we tell ourselves are powerful—very powerful.
If you tell yourself travel is exhausting, you’ll condition yourself to focus on the negative aspects of the experience and neglect the positive.
If you tell yourself you’re a perfectionist, you’ll change your reality to live up to that label by constantly aiming for some unachievable mirage of “perfect.”
If you tell yourself you’re awkward in social settings, you’ll internalize that message and freeze up in conversation.
If you tell yourself you’re not good enough, you’ll stand in your own sunshine and cast shadows over your superpowers.
So take a moment and think about what stories you’re telling yourself.
And if you don’t like the story, change the story.