I was participating in a seminar a couple of years ago where the presenter asked: “Who believes that attitude is something you can control?” My hand shot up at the speed of light. I truly believed that of course I can control my attitude. What else can I control if not my personal attitude?
Can I control my attitude?
This time I want to share a memory with you from the times when I was a frequent visitor of airports.
I was heading out on a work trip (a luxury holiday as I love to call them:)) to Poland. It was early in the morning as I was making my way through airport security. Now, I like to think of myself as an experienced traveler who has everything properly prepared so there’d be no fussing around. However, if you had been there that day – you’d strongly disagree.
As it happened, I had forgotten my hand cream in my purse which led to having been called to the side. After that, the custom’s worker decided that the bag containing all the liquids was too big and asked me to re-organize it. I can only imagine what the people around me must’ve been thinking – “Who in their right mind needs 20 different liquid containers???” Apparently I do.
What they didn’t know; however, was that I was going to a banquet and all my packing was done at three o’clock in the morning. So yes, 20 tubes of different creams, lotions and foundation seemed completely rational at that ungodly hour. Fortunately my colleague helped me out and I could put some of my things in his half empty plastic bag – thank goodness I was travelling with a man. After all that hustle and bustle, we were finally through the security check and were sitting happily in the lounge sipping my refreshing morning tea.
I lost my phone
My husband stayed home to spend some quality guy time with our boys and I wanted to give him some last minute instructions. I scoured through every inch of my seemingly bottomless bag only to ‘find’ that my phone was missing. Ooooh great! I must’ve left it at the security check. I got up from the comfy chair and made my way back to the security check – I bet they were happy to see me again. Fortunately, my wonderful communications device was waiting for me at the lost and found in the security office.
I lost my laptop
After all that excitement, I was happy to finally be on the plane waiting for take-off. The wonderful country of Poland was waiting for me. I decided to go over my presentation that I was supposed to give later that evening but to my surprise – no laptop. I HAD LEFT IT AT THE !¤%#&”%¤&%”¤#&%¤ SECURITY CHECK. I swear that security check was my own personal Bermuda triangle.
I couldn’t believe I didn’t notice it missing when I was looking for my phone but then again, I was barely awake. The panic started to settle in – my report, my files, my work tool. Does life even exist without a laptop???!!! I was convinced that I’d never see my laptop again and at that moment, I realized that I’m not as good at controlling my attitude as I’d thought.
IT IS WHAT IT IS. CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN.
When things aren’t going quite your way, there are some techniques that can help:
- Focus on the things that are going well
- Control what you can and don’t worry about the rest
- Trust that everything happens for a reason and something good comes out of it
So what am I supposed to do now? I started applying all the techniques I could think of to calm myself down. What am I grateful for? Hmm..A- HA I have my notebook! Thank God for that. I also have my phone so I’m not completely cut off from civilization. I couldn’t think of anything good that might come out of this situation but I convinced myself to look back on this at one point and find that it was the best thing that could’ve happened.
What are my options?
It’s clear that I won’t be doing a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Maybe a workshop then? I took my notebook and started working on it. Luckily the flight lasted a couple of hours giving me time to really focus on creating the best workshop EVER!
I guess the whole not worrying attitude but giving your 100% instead really does work. In addition to my presentation, I managed to think through a few more projects during the flight. I had no idea I could be so productive in so little time. I began to remember the charm of the notebook and pen combo which so many of us have forgotten. No distractions!
Why is it good to lose your laptop for a while?
The workshop was a big success and I bet it came out even better than what I had originally planned. I fell in love with my pen and paper again so all through the trip I actually didn’t even open my laptop. Lots of cool conversations took place with no screens involved. Lots of great ideas I had a chance to write down in the evening in my hotel room. To be honest I was even a little sad when my laptop was finally delivered to me. Back to the real world.
Share in the comments when was the last time you closed your laptop and put away the phone for the longer period of time. What was the result of that crazy experiment?:)
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