How to be Grateful that the Train…or Plane… is Late

adventure gratitude mindset Aug 13, 2014

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently with my family in Romania and without fail, we have been delayed by either a train or plane at almost every turn of our adventure. You’d think I’d be used to this after living in New York for so long…

 For example, a few weeks ago I was in Midtown waiting for the 2 train. The screen said it was coming in one minute – but of course, it had been saying that for five minutes. Six, seven, eight minutes passed. I wasn’t the only one tapping my foot and looking at my watch (because we all know that makes time go by faster).

Then I thought – as the train screeched to a stop in front of me – why was I wasting my energy in that pointless way? I was only fueling a negative attitude by focusing on my own impatience.

So the next time it happened, a few days later in Times Square, I decided to use that time for a mini-mindset reset.

I started walking down the platform, and each time I passed a pillar, I named something I was grateful for. The first few were easy– my family, my dog Sadie, my work, my health, New York. Then, more unexpected ones started popping up – raw chocolate. Riverside Park. Being motivated. My new website. All things I wouldn’t have thought of, if the train had come on time.

My friend who is a psychology enthusiast told me you can’t feel anxiety and gratitude at the same time. How powerful it is to know that – at any moment, we have the choice where to put our energy. By naming those things, I switched from a mindset of anxiety and impatience to one of gratitude.

I’ve been reminding myself of this exercise while traveling and I have to admit, it’s starting to become natural. Waiting for trains, sitting in traffic, waiting to board the plane – every time I start getting frustrated, I take a minute and think of what I’m grateful for and by the time I get moving again, I feel blessed. It changes my whole attitude for that day.

What are some other ways you can incorporate gratitude into your day? Comment to share your ideas!

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

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