I have two things that I do every time I fly. As I board, I always knock three times on the outside of the airplane. I did it once about fifteen years ago, and it quickly became a habit. Not too long ago I had my hands full getting on to a plane and couldn't make the knock happen, and as I got to my seat I began to worry that I had broken my routine. Not OCD worry, but it did intrude on my thoughts for much of the flight.
This is clearly an acquired superstition. But it works for me, doesn't hurt anyone, and frequently earns me a knowing smile or a comment from the flight attendant greeting passengers at the door. Turns out most of them have little superstitious rituals that they do too.
The second thing I do is as I depart the plane I say, "thank you, nice job guys" to the pilots. It doesn't matter whether it was a smooth flight, or an on-time departure, or I'm going out or coming home. I always thank the pilots.
And although I do this every time I am on a plane, I do not consider this to be a superstition. This is a strategy. The way I see it I want pilots to feel appreciated. I want them to feel good about the job they do. I want them to feel a connection to the passengers. If they're having a bad day, maybe this will help just a little bit. Think about the last time someone thanked you for doing your job. Didn't it give you a lift? That's the feeling I want my pilots to have.
Throwing salt over your shoulder after spilling some is clearly a superstition. Not walking under a ladder just seems like a good idea. What are your strategies and superstitions?
Oh, and thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my blog. It means a lot to me.