Like many people in business today, I spend a lot of my time on airplanes, flying from point A to point B. I generally am among the very first people to board so I get to sit and relax as I listen to all of the other people scrambling to get on the plane, find their seats, and stow their carryon luggage.
Recently, I was on a flight and overheard a group boarding that was obviously traveling to the funeral of one of their loved ones. It apparently had been an unexpected death, and this group was facing one of the most traumatic trips anyone could imagine. A few moments later, a group of young ladies boarded with intense excitement and enthusiasm. From their incessant simultaneous conversation, I gathered they were on their way to a wedding where one of them was to be married and the others were performing various functions in the wedding ceremony. I realized for these young ladies, this flight would be a memorable high point in their lives.
Then I listened to the majority of people boarding the aircraft as a normal part of their routine. They were heading to business appointments, flying back to school, or traveling to a meeting or event somewhere. For these people, the flight was little more than an interlude to get to where they needed to be.
When finally the flight was fully boarded and everyone was settled in, the flight attendants made their obligatory announcements, and we took off. As we smoothly glided 30,000 feet above somewhere, I realized the hundred or so people on this flight were a microcosm of the world and each of our lives.
At any given time, about five percent of the people are experiencing the ecstasy of an unimaginable high point. We all have these at some point in our lives, and they are to be treasured. Conversely, at any given point in time, approximately five percent of the people are going through a trial or a tragedy, be it an illness, financial setback or-as in the case of my flight that day-the death of a loved one.
Leaving out the five percent extremes at the high point and low point of the emotional scale, we are left with 90 percent of the people who are facing an average, routine day that stretches out before them like a blank slate. Unless otherwise acted upon, these average days will not be significant or memorable in any way; however, the outcome of these routine days is not random.
For most of us, the high points and low points in life are inevitable. But the average routine days are within our control.
If I am known for saying anything, it is the simple statement that you change your life when you change your mind. This applies to the 90 percent of us facing those 90 percent of routine days. We can make these ordinary days routine, boring, or extraordinary, depending on our attitude and how we determine to change our mind.
As you go through your day today, treasure the high points, endure the low points, and determine to make average days amazing.
Today's the day!