A Pilot’s Positive Thinking: What the World Needs Now

American AirlinesA typical airplane trip becomes an opportunity to dream together

Seated aboard my first flight to Charlotte, en route to The Bahamas, recently, I heard the dreaded announcement over the airplane’s PA system. Our flight, which had boarded on time, would be stuck on the tarmac for an indefinite period due to inclement weather conditions at our destination.

I could feel the collective anxiety level amongst my fellow passengers increase, as people began checking their itineraries to see whether they would miss their connecting flights.

Some 40 minutes later the pilot’s voice came through the intercom again. This time it was to tell us that we had been cleared for take-off. “There’s just one more problem. Once we land in Charlotte, we might be stuck behind other planes who’ve been delayed as well, so there’s no telling whether I can get you to the gate in time to make your connections.” There were groans of frustration from people throughout the plane, but the pilot wasn’t finished yet: “I know you’re all wondering the same thing: Will you miss your next flight,” he said. Well, he didn’t need to be a mind reader to know that: Of course that was what we were all thinking. But then he continued: “So let’s do this. We have 150 people on board today. Let’s all work together to channel our good karma toward an on-time landing.”

I looked to my left and my right to read the reactions of the other passengers. People, who moments before had been anxiously checking the time on their phones and watches, were now grinning broadly, shrugging shoulders as if to say, “Hey, why not,” or nodding. I for one was game.

Whether this experiment in positive thinking would turn out to be successful or not, the pilot succeeded in shifting the attitudes of all the passengers on board right away.

And sure enough, we made up almost all of the lost time, landed smoothly and safely, and arrived at our gate only five minutes behind schedule.

If one pilot can inspire 150 passengers on a commercial airline flight to improve their attitudes, and get a delayed flight back on schedule, just imagine what we can do personally and collectively with the power of positive intentions.

In 350 Dreamers, a group I lead where hundreds of people from around the world dream together several nights each year for global healing, we believe in this power to use our thoughts and dreams to affect change. What if more and more of us were willing to band together in the name of positive thinking at home, at work, and in wider and wider circles world-wide? Yes, it’s difficult in the face of so many looming problems, but starting small—one plane full of passengers at a time, for example—we can begin to test the results.

Of course skillful action is necessary to complete the picture, but thoughts precede words, and words precede action and manifestation.

In the meantime, I’d like to give a shout-out to one pilot’s example of positive thinking. May he be an inspiration to us all.

For more inspiration in thinking positive, check out a copy of my new book,

Joy in Every Moment.

Joy Cover


Filed under Joy in Every Moment

2 responses to “A Pilot’s Positive Thinking: What the World Needs Now

  1. Maureen Dean

    Very cool indeed.

  2. Sarah johnson

    I say YES to the power of dreaming to create a better world.

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