Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

Stay Positive.

B y now, you are probably overstuffed from that Christmas dinner or those Chanukah latkes; exchanged gifts; listened to holiday music — and most importantly of all, reflected on what attributes and traditions are most important during the festive season of holidays…

…but what exactly is important? Family and friends — sure. Peace — yes. Treating others with respect and civility — of course. Those are only three of many things which are important; but another is to stay positive.

Stay Positive.

As frequent travelers, we expose ourselves more to the negative aspects of travel — and that exposure occurs more often: irregular operations; missed upgrades; rude people; crowded airports to name only a few…

…and those aspects tend to sour an experience — but how do you remain positive during adverse conditions in travel as well as with everyday life?

Randy Petersen is regarded as a successful person by all accounts. The founder of such Internet web sites as BoardingArea, InsideFlyer and FlyerTalk cheerfully and genuinely greets everyone equally with a joviality as though they were rock stars — whether he has just met them for the first time or had known them for 30 years. He is usually euphemistic regarding the world around him even though he is always cognizant that there are many bad people in this world and that bad things can happen at any time. He typically finds the bright side and the good in everything and everyone he encounters.

I spontaneously asked Randy recently how he manages to stay positive all of the time. He responded that there are two things which are important to him: now and the future.

When asked how he deals with adversity — he has had his fair share of trials and tribulations over the years; and some of which are not trivial by any stretch of the imagination — he says that what he experiences is no different from what everyone else experiences. Everyone loses loved ones and has decisions which they have made which seemed like good ideas at the time. Randy does not dwell on the past.

“What I have had to face in life is no different than anyone else: the loss of a parent; a business idea you thought would work but did not; an unexpected issue which arose,” said Randy. “We all have to deal with life’s adversities.”

That caused me to stop and think: he is basically correct. We all have those moments in life with which we would rather not deal — and yet, he usually manages not to let any negativity get in the way of having a generally positive outlook on life. In fact, he continually expresses his appreciation for how fortunate he has been in life — from the places he has traveled in the world and the experiences in those places to his home in Colorado to the many people he knows, which especially includes his wife Julie…

…but he keeps in mind that there are less fortunate people in this world, which is why he continually supports organizations such as Kiva to help other people. He proudly wears his yellow Livestrong bracelet on his wrist. His generosity seems to know no bounds — almost to a fault.


I will be the first to admit that I am not exactly the most positive person in the world; but I am a certified managerial coach who can recognize people who view the world from a positive point of view — and we can all learn from them.

One thing I learned from Randy Petersen is rather incredibly simple: there is no special formula to staying positive. It is all a frame of mind and a matter of having the right attitude.

Maintaining perspective in life and continuously adjusting my expectations may the the reasons why I am not averse to flying as a passenger seated in the economy class cabin aboard an airplane during a transoceanic flight which lasted 15 hours or not being upgraded to a suite in a hotel or resort property.

Upgrades and elite level status are quite nice; but I am happy for every opportunity with which I can travel safely…

…and I hope that you are equally happy for every opportunity with which you can travel safely as well. Somehow — much like getting there is half the fun — being positive seems to be half the battle of success with travel and other aspects of life…

Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

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