10 Inspiring Books to Survive the Middle Seat
Surviving the Dreaded Middle Seat
Imagine sitting in a room that’s painted all white or black. There are no other people to talk to, no internet, no music, no mind stimulating distractions. Just silence but that’s not all. You can’t move, your space is confined, and your fed every three hours. If this sounds like jail it it isn’t quite like that but it’s everyone’s worst nightmare, the dreaded middle seat. I brought up the black and white room because neutral colors like that don’t really conjure up feelings or emotions. That’s how it feels to stare at the back of a dirty seat when you are stuck in the middle. Anytime people fly and get stuck with the middle seat they immediately run up to the gate agent and ask if they can switch seats. This experience alone can scare people into never flying again. If you are traveling internationally then may God help you endure. The moment you finally get up to move around from that torturous seat, you may walk around like Pinnochio did when he became a real boy. The longest I have had to sit in a middle seat was about five hours.
That flight was from San Francisco to Newark. I felt like death. My back ached, the guys next to me were arm rests hogs and let me add that they broke a middle seat rule. Which is the seat you have really sucks so you get both arm rests for more comfort. Plus I drink tons of water and even more when I fly. My bladder is the size of a skittle so I didn’t stay seated for more than twenty minutes at a time. Did I mention the guy next to me sounded like a grizzly bear when he snored right over the pleasant tunes of 2Pac whom I was listening to. I learned my lesson, be prepared if I ever have to get the middle seat next time. The next time I attempted to down three glasses of red wine before the flight so I could pass out. This didn’t work out to well. I wouldn’t recommend trying that but you should try reading books. Especially books that will stimulate your mind. A stimulated mind will help ease the pain of a middle seat. Here are ten books that will inspire you while you endure the middle seat.
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k –
The title alone will grab your attention. The book is written by Mark Manson. He cleverly uses negativity as motivation. A lot of books give you motivational stories without the harsh realities of pain. This book will not play on your ego. Being told how great you are or other ego stroking topics will not be in this book. Here is an excerpt: Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, did not give a f**k and went on to accomplish amazing feats. Perhaps there was a time in your life where you simply did not give a f**k and excelled to some extraordinary heights. I know for myself, quitting my day job in finance after only six weeks and telling my boss that I was going to start selling dating advice online ranks pretty high up there in my own “didn’t give a f**k” hall of fame. Same with deciding to and sell most of my possessions move to South America. Fucks given? None. Just went and did it.
2. Ego Is the Enemy –
This book is written by Ryan Holiday. He highlights all the areas where people fall victim to their ego. This is done by using examples of history with many stories. Here is an excerpt: When we remove ego, we’re left with what is real. What replaces ego is humility, yes—but rock-hard humility and confidence. Whereas ego is artificial, this type of confidence can hold weight. Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.
3. Who Moved My Cheese –
This is a very simple book written by Spencer Johnson. It is so simple a six year old can read it. But the message in it is very valuable. When life changes, you change with it or get left behind. Here is an excerpt: What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.
4. Mastery –
This is one of Robert Greene’s many good books. The book is pretty self explanatory. Robert Greene discusses all the skills it takes to obtain mastery at any craft. Here is an excerpt: Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.
5. The Obstacle Is the Way –
This is another book written by Ryan Holiday. It shows you how you can use failures and obstacles as advantages. It gives great examples and stories how successful people have used obstacles as platforms. Here is an excerpt: There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.
6. The Motivation Manifesto –
This book is written by Brendan Burchard. He discusses the usual things that holds us back like fear, self doubt, and life distractions. Here is an excerpt: We have patiently suffered long enough, hoping that someone or some kind of luck would one day grant us more opportunity and happiness. But nothing external can save us, and the fateful hour is at hand when we either become trapped at this level of life or we choose to ascend to a higher plane of consciousness and joy. In this ailing and turbulent world, we must find peace within and become more self-reliant in creating the life we deserve.
7. The 50th Law –
This book was co written by Robert Green and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It gives a psychological outlook how Curtis Jackson survived obstacle after obstacle to his rise and fame as rapper 50 Cent. Here is an excerpt: The people around you are generally mysterious. You are never quite sure about their intentions. They present an appearance that is often deceptive—their manipulative actions don’t match their lofty words or promises. All of this can prove confusing. Seeing people as they are, instead of what you think they should be, would mean having a greater sense of their motives.
8. Greatness Is Upon You –
This book is written by Eric Thomas. He gives a analytical breakdown of what it takes to take your life to the next level. It has charts and checklists like a workbook. Here is an excerpt: Success, meaningful success, begins when we take ownership and actively take responsibility for our part in the shortcomings of our life.
9. Tools Of Titans –
This book is written by Tim Ferriss. It is compiled of all his greatest interviews and podcasts. It touches on many subject such as fitness, finance, careers, and life wisdom. Here is an excerpt: For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.
10. The Alchemist –
This is the non fiction book on this list. It is written by Paulo Coelho. Here is the premise of the book: Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
The middle seat can be rough without the proper tools. Stimulate your mind instead of your body. I say body because many including myself have used alcohol as a tool to endure it. Even in uncompromising situations such as the middle seat, you can always grow. Why not grow by reading books that will help you along your journey.
- Eric L. Bolden
- E The Traveling Trainer