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’ve flown over 2 million miles on United Airlines. I really don’t know how many miles I’ve flown on all the carriers worldwide. The number one question I’m asked is: “How can you travel like that and stay sane?” First of all, no one has ever accused me of being sane…

There isn’t one answer to that question, but above all else, I make a conscious effort on every single trip to have fun flying and to find at least one funny thing I can add to my list of funny travel stories. On a recent trip to Australia I was asked that age old question by customs:

Agent: What’s the purpose of your trip?

Me: Business.

Agent: What is the nature of your business?

Me: To have fun.

Agent: Then what?

Me: I plan on having fun again.

After the strip search… just kidding. He laughed and I explained that I was speaking at several conferences in Australia about how people can enjoy their work more, how to keep employees happy and how businesses can be more productive. He told me, “Fun is good,” and let me in.

How to have fun flying:

Having fun flying is a good thing to have. For me, fun is a way of life, but it isn’t an accident. I actually work at it. There is a time and a place for it and there are times when funny isn’t appropriate.

More than anything else, I think it’s fun when you can do something better than almost anyone else, at work, as a hobby or in any setting. For example, in order to do my work I have to travel. As a result, I’ve flown more than 2 million miles and yet, I’m looking forward to my next trip because I know I’ll have fun flying. The fact that the trip will be fun is not an accident.

I know that my flight may be delayed, so I never take the last flight out. I know some kid may kick my seat. I know that some baby may scream at a decibel level that only dolphins should be able to hear, so I carry noise reduction head phones and ear plugs with me. I’m going to have fun and quite frankly no one is going to stop me.

We can either choose to insulate ourselves against the situational stress factors associated with our days or react to them time and time again. Each trip is a new adventure for me and I hope to never lose the enjoyment that comes from having breakfast in Denver and Dinner in Miami.

How can I have fun working?

The best way to start relieving stress at work is to be really good at what you do–that voodoo that you do so well. Never coast. Always keep working to be better and better. In my almost 20 years professionally speaking, I’ve become a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the highest earned designation of the National Speakers Association and become a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) a distinction held by fewer than 140 other speakers worldwide. I’m always working on ways to be better and better on stage and I always will.

Life is how we choose to perceive it. Since we cannot change the past and we cannot control many events that happen to us, an ability to develop a “comic vision” is essential to reduce stress and have fun.

In my Comic Visions seminars I work to not make light of serious situations, but to shine a light on the solutions to those situations. Humor is simply the combining of ideas not normally associated with one another. When used as a business skill, it helps us learn to act and not just react to the negativity most of us encounter everyday.

Think about what stressors you encounter everyday and have encountered over and over. First ask yourself if is there a way to insulate yourself against them, then think how you can choose to see the humor in them and let them go so you don’t carry that negativity around with you.

Laughter Becomes You!

Tim Gard