Stephen Covey’s Season 4 – Episode 2: The Economics of Trust

Here we go, people.  Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from a variable.  Trust affects two outcomes — speed and cost.  When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up.

When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.

Stephen Covey talked about the historic situation that happened on September 11th, 2001.  His trust in flying in America had gone down significantly.  When he would travel before the attacks, it was very easy for him to get through airport security and home in the quick airport routine.  Now there are procedures that take a lot longer at airports.  In recent years, FAA and airport security had come under fire because apparently they were sexually molesting a lot of passengers, including children.  Since then, the reports have plummeted, but you guys get the drift.  His trust went down, speed also went down and the cost went up. 

He also had flown out of a high-risk area in the Middle East.  His trust was super low in this area and had to arrive at the airport four hours before his flight, significantly reducing the speed.  He had to go through several screenings, and his bag was unpacked and searched multiple times by multiple people.  I also saw this when a passenger flying from Dubai to New York (on the flight that apparently 100 people were sick) had the same exact problem.

Clearly, extra security measures were necessary, and in this instant I was grateful for them, but the point remains the same: Because trust was low, speed went down and cost went up.

So, how can I relate this to my life? Well, when I had first flown Southwest Airlines in August of 2006 to Arizona, I flew alongside my friend Ty.  When we took off, I was terrified and tears were running down my face because of the September 11th events. I no longer trusted Americans, flights, airports or anything after that happened.  However, as time went on, I got maybe a fraction better — but still didn’t trust them.

Fast-forwarding it to present day, I live in a hot zone where planes crash quite often (Indonesia).  My students always tell me, “Nok Air and Air Asia are cheap!”  I would say, “I don’t have a cheap life.”  Air Asia, with two inexperienced pilots, got slammed four years ago when a flight going from Jakarta to Singapore fell into the ocean.  The pilots tried climbing elevation too fast and they fell out of the sky.  Human error.

A week and a half ago, Thai Lion Air, which is based at the airport I hate just north of Bangkok, also crashed leaving Jakarta airport.  Jakarta is known for having the worst crash-safety (Russia and north Africa, too), in the world and that scared the hell out of me.

Will I ever fly Air Asia or Thai Lion Air if I go to any part of Indonesia? Absolutely NOT.

I flew Singapore Airlines 2 years ago. Why? Trust is extremely high with them and the speed is fast — however — the cost is high, too.

When the Bali bombings happened in 2003, I asked a colleague (should I go to Bali)? I was terrified of going to Bali after bombings, such as that, had happened.  I then realized my trust in Bali was low because of one event.  If that’s the case, I can NEVER go to New York!

See how silly that is?

So I went, and it was the best trip of my life.

Anytime I travel now, I take the best airlines.  Travel to HK? Cathay Pacific.  Back to America? Singapore Airlines.  As of this year, I told myself I’ll never fly Air Asia again.  The flight attendants are stupendously unprofessional and don’t care about anyone.  The last time I flew with them it was a shaking rollercoaster and a tube with F1 Race car seats inside. I can’t do it anymore.

When I fly now, I fly out of the main airport.  I don’t go to the old airport anymore in the north. Why? I don’t trust the security, check-in, staff, food, or ANYTHING there.  Sure, the speed is high and the cost is low, but without trust, I just can’t do it.

 

Podcast

Traveling Pod: Episode 9 – Singapore for The 6th!

Here we go! The 6th country of the year.  Boy, what the hell is going on.  To be honest, I’m in a transition phase right now with work, and have been seen the dawn of the New Year.

Because this phrase has been ongoing, it requires me to leave the country often because of visa complications.  However, now that I have a reputable agency working on my visa and documents, when I come back that following week, I’ll be getting my one year visa and I won’t have to travel for the rest of the year (I think 6 times is enough).

So, why Singapore again, Arsenio? My happy ass got excited with jumping over a pond to Hong Kong and ended up having the most FORGETTABLE trip of my life.  Hong Kong is everything I didn’t WANT it to be, from the stereotypical immigration officers, to a wack ass hotel.  Sure, I met a nice individual there, but it was still….BLAH.

Should I go to Cambodia? Terrified.

Singapore is a safe trip and allows me to go to the main airport in Bangkok, (versus the dog house called Don Meung).  The main airport is connected with transportation that goes all the way to my condominium. I like my chances.

Singapore is going to be a trip of ME! Last time I went there I saw one of my ex-students, and now that she has grown up and forgot about her teacher (happens with youngsters, lol), I’ll go there to enjoy time by MYSELF and Vlog at the amazing Marina Bay Sands, a hotel I’ve always dreamed of seeing.

Now with having the ability to get outside the hotel and the area I’m living in, this could be a much more enjoyable trip compared to the last one.

Stay tuned for a variety of vlogs, instagram videos and other things that will be making their way here! Oh, and of course, a Ramble of Positivity!

Thank You 

Thank you for everyone viewing my post about the seemingly endless racial discrimination that happens in countries such as Thailand and all across Asia. 
What you focus on and think about, you bring about. My website/blog’s primary focus is not about controversial topics that cannot be changed; on the other hand, it’s about uniting all beings and citizens of the world and focus on collaboration. Focus on love. Focus on harmonizing prosperity. Focus on the beauty that this gorgeous planet has to offer. 

Some things cannot be changed. Only if the culture is changed, then being can stop the racism based on someone’s religion, culture, creed or color. 

Going forward, it’s time to start spreading the love again. If you are all knew, this is about personal development and unity. 

With that being said, it’s time to get back to living, living and laughing. 

Bali, Indonesia + Tough Mudder + Singapore Airlines = Trip of a Lifetime!

I was on a treadmill with one of my colleagues thinking about the Bali bombings and trying to conjure up an excuse NOT TO GO to Bali.  Given the events that took place a decade and a half ago –  a person, such as myself, would be terrified of heading to a resort island because of extremist groups.

“What? Are you seriously afraid of something that hasn’t happened in 15 years? Are you just making excuses? Stop it.  You sound ridiculous. Just go!” he said.

The next couple of weeks of pondering lead to me finally booking a ticket of course on Singapore Airlines (the fear of flying disintegrates when you fly with 5 star airlines).

I’m going to Bali!

The Lead Up

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Booking a hotel at the famous Baiyoke Sky in Bangkok was essential in terms of traveling to the airport  in the morning.  Is the area around the hotel legitimate? Not necessarily.  A bit dodgy once you step downstairs to be honest, but it was quiet and good enough for traveling instead of hauling from the outer suburbs while trying to beat the traffic.  Not worth it.

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Bangkok Airport, which is still technically new to the area, has it’s own nice perks.  Over the last four years, massive renovations have taken place to whereas you can charge your phone at stand-alone-kiosks! Yeah, Americans….I know.  Delta Airlines provides passengers at Sky Harbour International Airport in Arizona this for free, but Thailand is a completely different place.  When I saw some of the flight attendants and airport personnel setting up shop for the flight from Bangkok to Singapore, I bursted into excitement before the gorgeous Singapore Airlines A320 (smaller version) came roaring into the gate.  Ahhhh…alas! Here’s the beginning of my crazed trip!

Changi International Airport – Singapore

I was extremely critical of Changi the last time around because at the wee hours of the morning, there isn’t anything open.  Given the fact that skytrax and other award giving websites deemed this to be the #1 airline in the world, I expect there to be currency exchange counters open and at least trains running through the terminals. NOPE!

However, during the day…it’s wonderful.  I still believe that the signage is just too much at times.  Too overwhelming and very hard to figure out what to do.  For those traveling to Changi, be sure to figure out exactly what you’re going to do upon arrival or you’ll just be running in circles.

Bali, Indonesia

Gorgeously amazing flight attendants with caramel skin (Balinese I’m guessing) doing a last run of assisting passengers before the descent.  Unfortunately, it was nearing 9pm at night, which takes away the gorgeous daytime view of the island, Mt. bromo, and a few other places. I recall seeing some lights in the distance outside my window, but the terrifying part about it was the glare coming from the ocean. We were literally 100m from the water with no airport in sight.  FINALLY (which seemed like forever) the landing came and I took a huge breather.  Wow, as an African American, being from the neighborhood I’m from…..I’ve arrived to Indonesia, which is my first time arrival and 11th country. CHECK!

From immigration officers telling Chinese people to go away, from them not even checking my bags or suspecting anything suspicious of me.  Thank you, Bali.  First time here and there isn’t any racial profile going on.  Once I walk outside the terminal, my hotel (Sintesa Jimbaran) and private driver greeted me.  He took my luggage, went to the car, and then spoke about Bali in FLUENT ENGLISH about the language on the island, people, religion, and just about everything else.  The most important part of the trip…..why? I felt there was a connection.  He was talking from the soul, unlike most Thai taxi drivers who sound overly friendly and make the wrong left turn to make more money on the meter.  This gentleman spoke with genuinty and such truthfulness that’s even indescribable.  When this happened, I then knew that these were going to be some amazing people.

Sintesa Jimbaran Hotel

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This hotel was the definition of sheer beauty.  I arrived and was greeted by smiles; men who were wearing these large, gown like robes and accommodating everything about me.  They already knew who I was and greeted me by name, too.  After getting to the hotel around 10:00pm, the concierge opened my door and I walked into an ice cold room (just the way I like it) and saw just how massive it was.  Spa in the tub? Rain shower? Enormous bed and jazz music playing?

I sat down.  I cried.  “Arsenio, I’m so proud of you.  What you’ve done these last several years overcoming immense obstacles in Thailand – look where you are now.  Look around! If you would’ve asked yourself back in the summer of 2012, hearing your family complain about not having 10$…..do you think you would be here four years later.”  I held my hands up to my face and let out a “YESSSSSSS! I’m so happy and grateful for everything I’ve achieved!”

Is this happiness?

The Morning After – and I’m not talking about remorse, either.

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Sunrise, greenery, cloud formations, wonderful breakfast, 5 star concierge greeting me and talking to me as if I’m part of their family, running beachside, impeccable breakfast.  Should I say more?  I recall staring with a large grin at my face at the water coming onto the beach.  The sounds of the waves crashing.  Surfers from Spain laughing while trying to catch some low-tide waves, wife sitting in awe with her chin to the sky – breathing deeply.

My goodness.

This is what happiness is.

Night Safari

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Since living in Thailand and reading up on famous authors, I’ve grown to love animals much more than before, and cherish everything about these gentle giants.  Having a tiger, sniffing away on top of a caged truck, was pretty terrifying to say the absolute least.  The brown cows that have horns whereas if you cut their horns off, they would bleed to death.  The infamously famous komodos that lay as if they’re dead in pure darkness and a stand-alone elephant (very ominous) just waving his trunk in pure darkness. HA! Damn, I love animals!

Met one of the most lovely Australian families EVER during the trip.  The little boy, who was five, felt like a son.  He asked me so many questions and I felt as if I was his teacher.  The daughter was like, “omg my name is shanequa and I want to go to New York!” A 12 year old utterly infatuated with America and parents telling me, “hey, you’re young! Don’t worry about getting married right now!” HAHA! What an incredible night safari.  Oh, and temple run? The game that took the world by storm a little over 5 years ago? Yeah…I found out where that tradition comes from. RIGHT HERE! The girls…..phew, lets just leave it at that.  I proposed. THERE! I SAID IT!

Tough Mudder – The Monster From Hell

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And the reason I came to Bali to begin with.  To push myself not only mentally and psychologically, but physically.  The hellish course (what it was suppose to be) turned into one of the funnest events I’ve ever done in my life.  The variety of cultures from the Singaporeans who flew in from Singapore, to some of the people in the picture above who work for a newspaper in Jakarta, Indonesia, to some of the finest women I’ve seen in my life from other parts of Indonesia.  Oh, man….WHAT A DAY!

Yeah….Bali was another mental barrier that was crushed.  The mental barrier thinking I was going to get blown to pieces because of events that took place at the dawn of the new century.  See, these things that we see on TV can drive us to insanity.  I met some of the most wonderfully wonderful muslims on top of that, too.  The banjo playing band at the airport whom was singing, “la bamba” almost brought me to tears because their symphonic rhythm while playing in such a harmonious way…..these people were….happy.  Very happy.  I felt something on this island that I’ve never felt anywhere else on this planet, including Hawaii.

I felt serenity.

I felt bliss.

And getting aboard an absolutely gorgeous A777-300ER, I set off back to Singapore-Bangkok with a completely different mindset about my Balinese.

Thank you so much.

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Mount Bromo says HI!

Bali Podcasts 

Arrival –  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9519588

Day 2 – excursion https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9529788

Day 3 – Tough Mudder https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9538900

Day 4 – Tough Mudder Conquered 

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9541901

The end of Bali – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/9545169