Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?

What my airline delay is teaching me about being a victim.

I’ve never posted a selfie on my blog before. (There’s a first for everything.) I feel it’s warranted, though.

I’m currently sitting in Orlando International Airport, A Terminal, JetBlue Gate 9.


Gate 8? 🤔 They’ve already changed it once.

I have no idea.

Nevertheless, I think I’ve run 🏃🏼 through all of those emoji-emotions this morning as I wait at the whatever-gate. (Bonus points if you can guess which emoji I’m currently feeling before you get to the end of this post.)

My flight to Providence has had three departure delays thanks to always-mysterious “maintenance” logic, one aforementioned gate change, and one plane change.

But it got me thinking. Do I control my emotions or do my emotions control me?

Before the lightbulb 💡 went off, I was in the emotions-control-me phase.

“How dare they?” “Do they know how important my time is?” “Woof.” “What do you mean you can’t get me on the flight to Boston?” “Loud exhale.”

And that was just after the first delay.

After all, it’s easy to partner with a spirit of offense when that’s the prevailing mood. Each subsequent delay brought on more groans from the contingency. How often do we allow groupthink (or groupmood) to determine how we feel?

You know how it is. You’re all fine and dandy and then one negative Nancy starts complaining about the wait time in security lines. He starts talking to you about how they should’ve staffed more people on the day after a major holiday. Before you know it, you’re offended too.

The culture of offense will run rampant if you let it; it’s the core of a powerless, victim mentality. This is something I wrote about while celebrating our personal freedoms.

Victims believe the world is out to get them. They believe that humans aren’t inherently helpful. When a flight gets delayed, it’s “just another reason” why life is awful or why things don’t go their way. In fact, they often get offended when others exercise the power of their freedom.

I’d like to say this is never me, but then I’d be a big old fibber.

Luckily, freedom is a choice, just like being a victim is a choice. I’ve heard it said that if you put a pauper in a palace, he will turn the palace into a prison. But if you put a prince into a prison, he’ll turn the prison into a palace. In the Bible, that’s the story of Joseph. Being a powerful human that makes powerful decisions is a choice and you will always reproduce the environment around you that you cultivate within you.

So what’s your choice? In life, will you groan with the rest of them or will you take control of the situation and your emotions?

It’s too easy to air grievances nowadays. They’ll always be heard by somebody, and if you’re determined enough, you’ll make sure of it! But that takes energy.

I think I’d rather take my grievance gasoline and use it to fuel my love of writing, as I’m doing right now. Because one person might be encouraged by this post — — and that’s better than letting disunity and doubt spread like the cancer it is.

Flight update: I’m on the plane! Because even the most minor annoyances always have an ending, we’ll be taxiing shortly. Even if you’re in a tough season of life, know that if you stay consistent and bring the joy, you’ll take off soon.

I think this is a subject we need to discuss more. I’d love to know how you feel about offense and being a victim. Write a response. Say something in the comments.

(P.S. If you’re wondering, I think I’m currently the upside down smiley face emoji. 🙃 Still smiling, slightly delirious from a 5:15 wake-up call. Craving mid-morning tacos. If you guessed correctly, congratulations! Please see me to collect your mystery prize.)

Thanks for reading!

Creating Future Wins is my blog about life, leadership, and lacrosse. My heart is to create a mixture of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. Hit that subscribe button and of course, if you value what I’m doing here, I’d love for you to subscribe to my premium content.

Let me know your thoughts. Email me or @ me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).