EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
by Joe Bonura, CSP
A Walk in the Park
I was at the corner of Central Park and Sixth Avenue in New York
City when I was supposed to be sitting at a sidewalk cafe in "Old
Town" Quebec. Our flight out of JFK airport was cancelled,
after a day of exasperating travel with flight delays and cancellations.
As Carol and I sat around the airport listening to scores of frustrated
people gripe and complain, I remembered something that W. Clement
Stone, founder of Combined Insurance Companies of America, wrote,
"When faced with a negative situation, say, 'That's Good' and
then decide what you are going to do about it."
Wake Up and See the City
So we decided that we were going to spend the night in Manhattan.
I went online, made hotel reservations, and caught a cab (Delta
picked up the cab fare), and we had a great night in New York enjoying
a nice dinner at our new favorite restaurant, Il Corso on 55th street.
And the next morning, I watched the city wake up while sitting at
the entrance to Central Park.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise
My wife is an art history major so we visited the Museum of Modern
Art (MOMA), just around the corner from our hotel. As our plane
did not depart for Quebec until 6:00 pm, we had a bonus vacation
day. Oh, I know, we could say that we missed a day of our planned
vacation, but instead, we chose to call it an unexpected surprise.
What to Do
When faced with the unexpected, we should do three things. First,
we acknowledge the situation. In this case, the weather was not
conducive to flying into Quebec. We pilots have an old saying that
goes, "I would rather be down here wishing I was up there,
than up there wishing I was down here." I have been on many
flights in bad weather wishing I was still on terra firma.
No Need to Fret and Fume
Next, we accept the situation, especially if we cannot change
it. The planes were not flying, and we checked all the travel alternatives,
and there were none. We had a choice: fret and fume and raise our
blood pressure as many around us were doing, or do the third thing
which was to adjust to the situation and make the best of it.
Memories Are Made of This
We chose the third option and it turned out to be a real treat
and another great memory of our vacation. I believe the people at
the airport were wondering why we had such big smiles on our faces
as we left the waiting area to head for the cab.
Work On a Solution
If you live on this planet, you will face adversity on a regular
basis. The good news is that when you are faced with the adversity,
you have a choice. You can take action or be put out of action.
I often notice that when I take action, my mind is focused on the
next outcome instead of on the present crisis. Working on a solution
is much more fun and productive than fuming about an uncontrollable
situation. To whatever comes your way, take W. Clement Stone's advice
and say, "That's Good." Your mind will be put in forward
gear, instead of reverse.
Great Morning -- Great Coffee
Oh, when I found a nice little coffee shop on Sixth Avenue, I
treated myself to a cappuccino. It can be fun turning an adversity
into a memorable experience.
As I sat at a sidewalk cafe in Quebec, I glanced at all the great
pictures I took of our New York adventure while anticipating the
next unexpected event. I was told that the weather in Quebec was
miserable on our expected arrival date, and that people remained
in their hotels to keep from getting soaked. When we arrived in
Quebec two days later, the weather was sunny and mild, a spectacular
welcome from our neighbors to the north.
© 2013 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.