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Success on the Fly

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20th, 2013


Life brings us plenty of reminders about the importance of our sense of humor.

I remember one such reminder very well. I flew my hang glider in a competition once. This was a very big deal to me. There were about 40 contestants - all were men except for me. The tasks included altitude gain, flight time, a pylon course, and a spot landing target.

I finished in fourth place! Wow! Even after I landed, I wasn’t quite touching the ground. I was so full of myself, and my accomplishments, I had a grin spread clear across my face.

There I was in the landing area, tearing down my glider. Humming, beaming. Then I noticed a guy behind me tearing down his glider. Obviously he was not happy. He was grumbling to himself, mishandling his own wing, and glaring at me from time to time.

What was that about, I wondered? Finally, I made eye contact and asked simply, “What?”

He stopped what he was doing, thrust his fists on his hips, glared at me, glared at my glider, and then back at me again. The he seethed, “I wish I had somebody to tear down my glider for me!”

He thought I was helping another (male) pilot tear down his glider. Little did he know, I was the female pilot, and had just finished fourth! How sexist! How pathetic!

Time froze momentarily. I thought of several things to say to put this guy in his place.

But that day a good angel tapped me on one shoulder and said, “Now, now.....”

So I answered, “Yea, me too. I wish I had somebody to tear down my glider for me.”

Keep your sense of humor, you’ll always need it.

You have to watch your reactions when you are presented with opportunities to “get even” in life. Try these:

• Expect a few obstacles during your day. Don’t let them blindside you.

• Try to see the situation from the other person’s viewpoint, or better yet, from an aerial perspective.

• Be the comedian. Look for the humor in stressful situations.

• Remember, belittling yourself is always more acceptable than poking fun at others.

You’ll feel better about life’s trying moments if you can manage to keep a sense of humor.

Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who “lends wings to your success.” Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.

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