The Aircraft Behaviour Phenomenon and How That Mirrors Life

Coach Tony Inman talks about behaviour on aircraftThe big commercial jet screeched on the bitumen, then rumbled off the runway, slowing as it turned to taxi to the disembarkation gate at Perth airport. The stewardess made the usual announcement about keeping your seatbelts fastened and not switching on mobiles until we were inside the terminal building, yet even before she had finished, even before the seatbelt sign had pinged above our heads, you could hear the rebellious clicks of unlocking seatbelts.

One of the reason’s I haven’t done as many of my usual blogs on this site recently is that my girlfriend, Jo and I have been away having too much fun and living the dream! This landing was our sixteenth flight in 31 days as we returned to Perth from our South American adventure, taking in such sights as Macchu Picchu, the Amazon jungle, the Iguazu falls, Rio de Janeiro and Chichen Itza.

On all sixteen of those flights, this same phenomenon occurred. I’ve always been fascinated by people’s behaviour, long before I began life and business coaching. The passengers in the aisle seats would leap up from their seats to grab their hand luggage from the overhead lockers and squeeze their way into the aisle if possible. Those passengers in the middle seats would try to get their bags as well, but even if they couldn’t, they then stood in a hunched position with their heads pushed up uncomfortably against the bulk head in a tortuous position, remaining that way by their own volition for several minutes. Those people stuck in the window seats looked pained and frustrated. Their faces had expressions as if to say, “What am I going to do? I’m stuck! What if I’m stuck on this plane forever?”

Flying over the spectacular Andes

Flying over the spectacular Andes

There are always the irritating people too – the ones with an annoying cough – the sort where you think a lung is about to come up; or those who sneeze repeatedly on the people around them, leading you to wonder if this is the flight that is carrying the latest pandemic virus, the one on which you should have worn an unfashionable breathing mask or perhaps not even have boarded. There’s always at least one person having an unnecessarily loud conversation on their mobile phone, blaring out to all the disinterested people around them what they plan to do for the rest of the weekend. Plus of course there’s always at least one screaming child whose ears hurt as they pop and they can’t understand why.

As you all finally shuffle impatiently down the aisle, you notice one or two passengers who have chosen to remain in their seats. “What’s wrong with them?” you think. “Why don’t they want to get off? Are they retarded? Everyone’s getting off!” Even if you offer to let them out into the aisle, they decline with a knowing smile. Those strange people are the very same passengers that you later see passing you in the next queue at Customs. “How did that happen?” you ponder. “Is there no justice?”

To add insult to injury, those same people again are the ones whose hold luggage comes out first! You see them casually sauntering away, without a care in the world, while your bags take an eternity. In South America, most of the time, the bags would be split between a couple of different trucks, so one bag might come through straight away and the other might be the very last to appear on the conveyor belt. There’s always that anxiety when you’re wondering if yours is the one that fell off the back of the truck and got lost that day, followed by huge relief as you spot it in the distance.

Then you see a sniffer dog heading for your luggage and you begin to wonder if some drug lord has chosen your very bag in which to stash something unsavoury! “Phew!” you thinks as the dog wags its tail and toddles on past.

Then you spot one of the passengers who had stood with their neck squeezed against the bulk head and you wonder, ‘I bet they have a sore neck tonight. Why did they do that?’

So I began wondering about this whole travel behaviour pattern that I have seen repeated on almost every flight I’ve ever taken, and I have taken a lot over the years. “Why do we do the same thing that everyone else does?”

Is it because people are afraid of flying and they can’t wait to get off the plane? Is it because they’ve been sat in a confined space for too long and they just need to stand up, so desperately that they will hunch even more uncomfortably than if they had remained seated? Neither of those make any sense, because we all know that you’re going nowhere until the crew opens the door, and that can sometimes take a while. Or perhaps they are in such a huge rush to get on with their ‘busy’ lives and they think that by standing uncomfortably and looking impatient, somehow the crew will magically beam them off the aircraft?

Mayan ceremony - travel provides  fantastic opportunities to study human behaviour

Mayan ceremony – travel provides fantastic opportunities to study human behaviour

Some passengers, when made to wait more than a few minutes become increasingly agitated and even rude to their fellow passengers or the crew. Others become gallant knights, helping the elderly by passing down their heavy bags from the overhead lockers. The frailest on the plane always seem to have the most luggage. How does that happen?

Another thing I noticed is that no matter how many times the crew come around collecting rubbish from people, as you exit the aircraft you will see mounds of garbage throughout the plane, and the worst section is the one where the passengers have paid the most to be there. Is it some kind of rule that first class passengers have to make more mess than economy passengers? Is it a measure of your importance that you have to leave more mess behind as some kind of status symbol?

Human behaviour is learned by observation, duplication and repetition or by simple survival instinct. If there was an emergency disembarkation, they’d be acting on survival instinct, meaning they’d probably be pushing others out of the way in their quest for personal survival. It would actually make more sense for the disembarking to be done the same way as the boarding – a few rows at a time, with everyone else remaining seated until called. Admittedly, there has rarely been a problem with aircraft at the end of the flight, but in reality you are still surrounded by aviation fuel and inflammable materials. If there were to be a stampede, then it would be safer with the bags still in their lockers.

So how does this behaviour manifest itself in the rest of your life? Are you operating on survival mode and irrationally reacting to external events? Are you simply following learned behaviour patterns and going through the motions? Are you just doing what everyone else does because that’s the way you think it’s supposed to be? Or are you living your life on purpose and steadily working towards pre-determined goals in congruence with your values?

Where we wanted to be - the Mayan wonder of the world at  Chichen Itza

Where we wanted to be – the Mayan wonder of the world at Chichen Itza

In Earl Nightingale’s famous speech on ‘The Strangest Secret’ he explained that “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal”. If you are exactly where you want to be, doing exactly what you want to do and living life exactly as you want to, then you are already a success, no matter what anyone else thinks!

If not, then you will most effectively unleash your creativity if you invest the time to reflect on what your values really are, the kind of person you really want to be and what you are willing to do to make that happen. It’s not always easy to be so reflective and so creative – sometimes people are stuck or are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. That’s often why they talk to a coach or seek a mentor like me, to help figure out what they really want, both in business and in life and to devise effective strategies for ultimate success. When is the right time to figure that out? It’s as soon as you are ready – ready to move away from the pain of overwhelm or from being stuck; and ready to move towards the joy of fulfilling your creative potential. Where you are today is a result of the choices you have made in life so far and the resources you have made use of. Where you may be tomorrow depends on the choices you can make and the resources you invest in from this point forwards.

Until then, I hope that you make each day the best day it can be for you and for those around you.

 

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Reigniting your OOMPH!

Jo and Tony - mission accomplished!

Jo and Tony – mission accomplished!

When you find yourself feeling uninspired and not really bothered about doing the things you know you SHOULD be doing, what can you do about it?

I have to confess that I had the idea to write about this more than two weeks ago, but I have been ‘busy’ with other projects. So here I am -taking my own medicine!

What started me on this track was the fact that I was actually on a track when I noticed something that made me smile.

I was’ jogwalking’, mostly walking (owing to lack of training!), the Perth City to Surf Fun Run with my girlfriend, Jo and we were on the last click of the twelve kilometre event.

Despite the noise of people chatting and running, the distant sounds of bands playing, plus someone delivering very bad karaoke from a tent beside the course, I overheard some young voices from above.

We were passing through a very posh neighbourhood at City Beach and from the upstairs balcony of one of these mansions, I heard and saw two young children cheering encouragement to all of the runners, joggers and walkers.

I thought it really cool that these kids, who obviously came from a well-to-do family, would take the trouble to be so vocal in their encouragement of people whose legs were tired and who needed that last little lift of enthusiasm to help them finish the job in hand.

When I told Jo about it, she had noticed that the children actually had medals around their necks, which meant that they had already completed the course, and had gone back home, probably to show their medals excitedly to the family, where they had then assumed their lofty position from which they were doing a terrific job of lifting the spirits of us less fit individuals.

It was a bit like watching children of Roman nobles encouraging the gladiators in the arena!

I found it very uplifting though that they would take the trouble to be so supportive and enthusiastic and it was a fabulous moment among the many other human interest stories that were so wonderfully on display that day.

I’ve lost count but I think it was my ninth City to Surf, spanning about 27 years and I’ve seen it grow from about 4,000 participants to 45,000, with all of the extra categories to cater for huge fitness level differentials.

The Participants Gather

The Participants Gather

Legends Indeed - took it in turns to carry their baby!

Legends Indeed – took it in turns to carry their baby!

 

There were people with disabilities, parents carrying children, people in fancy dress, people of all ages, nationalities and body shapes.

Every single one of them had their own story of course, their own unique reason for why they had bothered to make the effort on that overcast August morning.

It’s your story that will make the difference in helping you find your OOMPH!

In my coaching and consulting work, when I come across business owners who are battling and feeling fatigued, lost or apprehensive about what they are doing, almost invariably they are taken aback when I ask them, ‘So, WHY are you doing this?’

It’s no surprise that the reason we sometimes lose our OOMPH is because we take our focus off the ‘Why?’.

When our ‘Why’ is strong and vividly imagined, our previously wavering enthusiasm can be easily reignited.

Studies done on prisoners of war showed clearly that the survivors were the ones who focused on their dreams and goals and on what they would do after the war had finished and they were free again.

The Human Race thrives on hope and optimism about the opportunities ahead of them and the perceived benefits or rewards for the effort involved. That’s perhaps why this race was such a great metaphor for understanding some of the many variables that can lift the human spirit.

If you take away hope, you take away a person’s purpose. Without purpose a person loses their motivation like Austin Powers losing his ‘mojo’.

That’s when it’s easy to become distracted and possibly even…PROCRASTINATE!

The dangers of losing your OOMPH!

The dangers of losing your OOMPH!

*Image shared by Amanda Templeman’s Facebook page, assumed to be public domain.

(Believed to be courtesy of Angela Liao, cartoonist)

So my message today is that if you have lost your OOMPH and you want to find it again, ask yourself again, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘WHY?’

It doesn’t all have to be about you by the way, it might be that you want something for a loved one. It could even be for a stranger?!

Those children on race day had finished their race, yet their obvious enthusiasm gave them enough OOMPH to share around to people they had never met.

The life lessons are all around us – we just have to notice them!

I’m so grateful that we live in such a fantastic place where these opportunities are available to us.

Until next time, whatever you’re doing, do it well :-)

Tony Inman

Tony Inman

Tony Inman

 

 

 

Talent In a Shopping Mall

I think one of the most astonishing things about human beings is how they can be so preoccupied with their own ‘stuff’ that they can easily miss amazing opportunities right before their eyes.

Look how many random shoppers walk past this world class performance, completely oblivious!

This girl is so good that she gave me goose bumps!

If she was nervous, she took her fears with her and they didn’t show.

Enjoy!

“Tony has been a fantastic sounding board…” – Juan Rando, Perth

Juan Rando, Owner - Juan Rando Dance Academy

Juan Rando, Owner – Juan Rando Dance Academy

“Although I have a successful business, I felt overwhelmed when my partnership broke up.

Tony has been a fantastic sounding board and has helped me rebuild my focus, enthusiasm, vision and profitability.”

Juan Rando, – Owner, Juan Rando Dance Academy

 

Juan operates Perth’s premier dance academy in Subiaco, Western Australia.

If you have been thinking about learning to dance JRDA caters for all levels, from those wishing to simply have fun, meet people and improve their fitness (and their sex life!) right through to aspiring professional dancers and instructors.

Check out his website at: http://www.jrda.com.au/

 

JRDA provides classes in various styles too:

The Two Most Important Days

Mark Twain on finding your why

Mark Twain on finding your why

You may never have heard of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) but he is better known by his pen name Mark Twain.

He was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885),the latter often called “the Great American Novel.”

He is also held in high regard for his many profound quotes and observations on life.

Twain was born during a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it” as well. He died the day following the comet’s subsequent return.

Tony at Abu Simbel, Egypt

Tony at Abu Simbel, Egypt

I find it interesting to reference this attached quote to an Egyptian tomb that I visited at Abu Symbel.

The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.

The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt’s top tourist attractions.

What is particularly amazing is that they constructed this tomb with hand tools, yet they angled the floor upwards and the ceiling downwards towards the back of the temple. On the back wall of the inner chamber they drew the four Gods, plus the Pharoah himself, the God on Earth.

They aligned it all so that twice each year a beam of sunlight goes through the front door, through the public chamber, through the High Priests’ chamber and into the Pharoah’s sanctum, illuminating the face of the Pharoah – once on the anniversary of his birth and once on the anniversary of his coronation.

Were those guys amazingly clever or what?

Perhaps those were the days when the Pharoah was born and the day he found out why?

Have you found your ‘why’ yet?