I’m heading off to the States today for a 6 week adventure, and at the moment I’m writing to you from Reykjavik as I’ve got an hour free between connecting flights.
This trip’s gonna involve some SFM stuff to help grow my online business (And hopefully talking on stage again at a live SFM momentum day), but I’m also taking some time out to enjoy myself while I’m here.
Starting in New Jersey, then off to New York, then Phoenix, San Diego, Mexico and back to San Diego.
I had a bit of an experience at Heathrow airport though that I wanted to share with you, because
There’s an important lesson in there
Basically I was running a little late getting to Heathrow and so didn’t have a huge amount of time anyway, and I start queueing for the baggage check in.
As I get to the front, the girl on the desk asks me for ESTA details, the address where I’m staying etc… all the usual stuff. Then she asks whether I have proof of my return flight.
I didn’t have a return flight booked, because I was planning on leaving it open ended and maybe staying a little longer and visiting a few more people before I head back. I’m staying with some friends for the San Diego part of the trip, but I didn’t know exactly when they’re flying out or flying back. I was just gonna meet them while they’re there and then do my own thing.
I can’t get on the plane
She tells me that because I’m on the US ESTA program and I don’t have a VISA, the maximum time that I can stay is 90 days and I need to prove that I’m coming back. So I can’t get on the plane without showing proof of a return flight.
So with time running out, I try and ring one of the guys who I’m meeting in San Diego to find out when they’re coming back and when I need to book this flight for. No answer. Check Whatsapp and see that based on when he was last online, he was probably working nights.
And from going on holiday with him before I already know that a bomb could go off right beside his bed when he’s asleep and he wouldn’t wake up. The guy literally goes into a coma when he sleeps.
I tried messaging him a bunch of times anyway to see if he’d read them, but he didn’t.
So then I try to contact the other guy, realise I don’t have his number. So I can’t call, text or WhatsApp him. It’s alright though, I can probably call him through Facebook… Nope, he’s unavailable for calling through Facebook.
Drop him a bunch of messages anyway, he doesn’t read them immediately. So I realise I’d better figure this out on my own.
So I whip my Macbook out my bag and start looking for flights on skyscanner.com, and while I’m doing this I suddenly realise that as long as I book a flight back, I can get on this flight, then if I need to I can get myself transferred onto another flight while I’m in the US. Might be £50 or something, so no big deal.
Then as I’m about to book a flight, the second guy messages me back. They’re flying out from LAX on the 6th October, so I go ahead and book my flight for that date. Got myself an absolute steal on the flight as well, only £240 from LAX to Gatwick!
So in less than 15 minutes, I’m back at the desk with the proof of booking the flight, I get checked in, and I easily make the plane. Even had time to stop and eat.
Pretty anticlimactic ending, right?
But that’s kind of the whole point. In those situations, how easy is it to freak out, panic, and get all worked up, when actually things are pretty easily solved if you keep your head and just focus on getting towards the solution.
I like to look at it as a problem solving challenge. I love it when this stuff happens, it’s exciting and you get to test how good you are at handling sticky situations.
The key is to pull yourself and your emotions out of the equation. You’ve got to:
- Understand the facts that you’re working with.
- Understand the outcome that you need.
- Think about all the resources that you currently have that can help you achieve that outcome.
- Think about what additional resources you’ll need to achieve that outcome.
It’s a simple process
Don’t waste a second on freaking out, panicking, or getting sucked into your own emotions. It’s a total waste of time and serves absolutely no purpose. You might as well cut straight to the part where you calmly find the solution.
Stuff like this will always happen throughout life, it’s inevitable. So the next time you encounter something difficult and you feel those emotions rising, just remember the 4 steps above. It’ll save you a lot of time, and life will be a hell of a lot less stressful and difficult.
Also you really end up believing in yourself as well…
I’ll speak to you next from New Jersey. Have a good couple of days til then!