Secrets to My Happy Commute

A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.
~ Wayne Dyer

The reason I left one of my first very good jobs at a bank was because of the 90 minute travel time each way.  Frankly, by the time I would reach work, I was down-right angry and unbearable.  Being caged up in my car for almost two hours battling through traffic did not bring out the best of me.

Right now, my commute is about 35 minute both ways.  In snow, it is about 1 hour.  Not bad by comparison, but still a significant trek. 

Since my job does not allow flex hours, job sharing or working from home, I am required to be at the office every day.  So I must drive into work and come home at the regular rush hour times.  I’ve been commuting to my government job for about 10 years now.  

How do I continue doing this without loosing my mind?  Here are some of the things I do to keep happy and beat the drudgery of commuting:

Listen to audiobooks.  The cornerstone of my “secret” to a happy commute is basically keeping myself mentally stimulated enough during the commute not to care that I am travelling.

At the end of my last maternity leave, I adopted listening to audiobooks.  Being an avid reader, I was thrilled to find that has just about any book you are looking for in audio format.  Just download it to your MP3 or order the CD and you are all set for travel.

One tricky thing for me and audiobooks though, (and this may not bother you) is that I must like the voice and the pace that they are speaking.  Early in my audiobook listening life, I bought books that I only got 20 minutes into and stopped listening to because I didn’t like the way the person talked.  If they paused for too long, too often or had the same repetitive annoying inflections in their voice, that bothered me. 

However, by listening to audiobooks it helped to create a whole new world of relaxed travelling.  I was also able to learn while driving.

Learn a new language. 
If you commute in a car like I do.  You have the luxury of speaking out loud and not bothering anyone else.  I have been able to brush up on my French with the French I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs audio books. 

Get motivated.  One audiobook that always gets me motivated to start a project is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker.  Some of his motivational strategies require you to speak so it’s perfect for when you are alone in a car.

Learn how to start a business.  I learned the first things I needed to know about buying profitable rental real estate from books I listened while commuting.  One of my favourites has been The Millionaire Real Estate Investor but Gary Keller. The nice thing about this book is the narrators pleasant tone.

If real estate isn't your cup of tea as a business, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses is a great book for starting businesses.

Get relaxed.  If you tend to get wound up during your commute thinking about all the work and stress you have in store for you.  A few of books that always enjoy that help m to gain perspective are Deepak Chopra’s, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams - The Complete Book on CD (Chopra, Deepak) and the Ultimate Happiness Prescription.  These books always put me in a pleasant state of mind where I often arrive to work very happy.

Get out of a rut.  If you are like me, occasionally you may feel like your in some kind of emotional rut.  This audiobook by Joel Osten always helps put things in perspective, It's Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Accomplish Your Dreams, and Increase in God's Favor.  

It is Christian based and he talks about everything from family to financial challenges.  His voice is so comforting and enjoyable.  I always go back to this one.  In fact, you can choose just about any of his other previous books and get the same comforting effect. 

Get bluetooth and talk to other people commuting.  If audiobooks aren’t of interest to you on a given day, there’s always real people.  To ease the bore of commuting, I often talk to someone else I know who is also on their way to work.

Carpool.  When it works out for my schedule, I commute with other co-workers who lived near by.  We don’t commute every day because sometimes our schedules don’t permit it.   But arranging occasional shared rides helps really cuts down on gas.  Plus, time flies by when you get into a good conversation.  Keep in mind to choose your company carefully.

These are my happy-commute tips.  I hope you enjoy some of them.

Have a wonderful the week!

Comment if you have tried any of these.

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