I love flying and this is why…

A flight in 2015 in a 737, I believe between Phoenix AZ and NYC.

As much as I often say I hate flying, I kind of love it too. In the past ten months, I’ve spent the equivalent of over 1 1/2 weeks of human life in the air, not counting the endless hours of delays on the tarmac.

I love flying because I get to think. Seriously, it is rare that situations today allow me to process life sans distractions. Few instances lock you down with no communication to the outside world for hours on end — one recent direct flight between Hong Kong and Chicago lasted 15:50 minutes!

What I enjoy the most is the general feeling of timelessness. In the pitch of the night, miles above the earth, I’m literally in a spaceship. Most of us are familiar with the ridiculous 3D imagery on CNN, but that’s not far from what I let myself go through. I review the meetings I’ve gone through in an almost God-like ‘mode.’ I spin around the room reliving tiny details of how my client, factory, or colleagues may have experienced the very same situations I went through in the previous days. It’s like playing business chess as I think through 5 or 6 scenarios of what my current clients, competitors, employees, and media have done and how it influences their next move.

While traveling can sometimes be incredibly frustrating and irritating, it is also an incredible privilege to step into a spaceship that doubles as a time machine. A tool that gives me time and space, where I can let the reality of traveling faster than 99% of humanity throughout history drive me to think about how to create new and better things. It’s ironic that when we’re moving at our fastest speed through time and space, we have the opportunity to truly slow down. It is in this change of pace, this chance to process and reflect, to see life from outside myself, that the magic of innovation can happen.

A delightful song that reminds me about flying, in the best way possible, is ‘Die Trying’ by Michl. Check it out.