What do you do with a Broken Egg?

Recently, after a real bucket list experience, my travel plans were set back by about a day and a half.  Life intervenes.  Weather will do that, and having seen it myself, I really didn’t need to fly that day anyway…

Why Did This Have To Happen To Me?

How many times have you heard that?  A sob story about canceled flights and missed appointments…  Look, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not always about you.  I had to cancel a tee time earlier that morning at Atlanta Athletic Club, and I don’t see that opportunity coming back anytime soon.  Sometimes, those are just the breaks.  In this case, I did everything I could to get out early.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the otherworldly customer experience I had with Southwest Airlines.  Shauna in Chicago, if you’re reading this, thanks again.  My rebooking was handled seamlessly, and my expectations were exceeded- not every airline can make that claim.  Despite the weather and the lost tee time, I was headed to the airport early.  It was a good day, and I was looking forward to getting home and seeing my family after being gone a week.  Just as I pulled up to the rental car lot, I got the text that my flight had been canceled.

What Does This Make Possible? 

Stellar customer service or not, there are only so many seats on an airplane, and my rebooking moved my departure from Wednesday afternoon to late Thursday night.  Now I’m stuck for 30 hours in a city I don’t live in.  I could sulk about it, or I can do something with the opportunity.  It’s funny what happens when you get out of your own way and start being present.

While I was trying to figure out where I was going to stay the night in town, a woman sat down and started playing the cello.  Perhaps playing is the wrong word- more like owning that cello.  She was creative and inspired and completely engrossed in what she was doing.  I love seeing people in that state.  Suddenly I wasn’t in so much of a hurry to leave anymore.  Something really cool was happening right in front of me, all I had to do was notice it.

My Uber driver picked me up and took me to my hotel downtown.  We had about 20 minutes in the car together, and he told me about the custom furniture business he’s trying to get off the ground.  One of his ideas is to make foot lockers that replicate the kinds of boxes you’d find at Foot Locker.  It’s really fun, and as a kid, I would have loved to store all of my stuff into a giant Nike box.

How Do You Handle Unanticipated Adversity?

It was a weird day and a half.  You feel a little out of place when you’re spending unplanned time somewhere.  But when I look at it, I lost almost no productivity.  I had one meeting to reschedule, and I got the rest of my work done.  My wife and kids were out of town too, and I was home before they woke up the next morning.  The world didn’t end.  In fact, it barely skipped a beat.  Would it have helped at all for me to paint it as the worst day ever?

It’s easy to say that we should always try to make the best of a bad situation.  It’s an entirely different thing to draw inspiration from it.  Most of us don’t like being told “no,” so the lens we often look through is the one that reminds us of the obstacles.  Instead, we need to look for the opportunities.  My daughter calls that a ‘growth mindset,’ and I’m happy they’re teaching that in schools now.

Sometimes eggs break- and that’s what it takes to make an amazing meal.  Spend more time thinking about what things could be instead of what they’re not right now.