I got an unsolicited email from SAA Voyager the other day. They told me with great excitement that with just a few more flights I could regain Gold frequent flyer status, and qualify for all sorts of wonderful benefits. I didn’t have the heart to tell them what I really thought about that, as I have been desperately trying to manage my Voyager status down away from Gold to Silver and even Blue. Gold status with SAA simply means to me that I am away from home far more than I would like. I think that business travel is one of those things that if you have lots of you begin to resent. It sounds awfully exciting to jet off once a quarter or more to Europe, and a couple of times a year to the US, and maybe the Far East every now and then. I must sound dreadfully spoilt if I complain about yet another trip to the Middle East, because visiting these different places really is a privilege. The fact that I have been lucky enough to visit, and to live and work, in so many different parts of this fabulous planet is one of the Blessings that I am most thankful for. God’s creations, most especially the people He creates, are an amazing source of inspiration and learning wherever in the world they are. But the truth is I have had enough of business travel. Traveling with Jenny, or with our girls, is a whole different ball game. Sharing the excitement of new places, or favourite old places, with them is one of my life’s deepest joys. But business travel. Well I have to control my attitude to it, I guess, because the truth is I can’t do my job without it. I love my job with a fierce passion. I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else in the world, or at any other company, for all the tea in China. Yet that doesn’t mean I have to like everything about my job. Business travel, for one thing, and the fact that I often have to refer to EMEA for certain approvals, another. Those things that I may not like, or even hate, come with the turf I have chosen. I have the right to exercise choice, and I actively, willingly and repeatedly choose to do the job that I do. So I reckon that with that choice I actually forfeit the right to complain about those elements of it that I can’t change, even if they might not meet my idea of “perfect”. Knowing what can be changed, and what can’t, is pretty important in this balancing act. I’ll seek constantly to improve the parts of my job that I don’t like and that I can change, but why waste time and emotion winging about things I can’t influence? I believe that this is at the heart of job satisfaction. Knowing what the mandate is, knowing what can and can’t be changed, knowing in what circumstances the job is determined by my own decision, as opposed to someone else’s. I encourage each and everyone of you to discuss exactly that with your own boss, especially if that boss is me! I can’t imagine why I would choose to stay in a job, or in a given position, if the overall balance wasn’t positive. For me, the balance at SAS is overwhelmingly positive. Does that mean I like absolutely everything about my job? No. Does it mean that I accept and embrace the parts I don’t necessarily like but cannot for any reason change? You bet!