What do you do in situations where things don’t go as planned?
When the party you were so looking forward to attend gets cancelled because of the bad weather? When the project you have been working on gets rejected? When your well-meaning words were taken in a different context by the recipient and creates anger?
Some of us react to these situations with anger, some of us with withdrawal and very few of us see the situation as it is, evaluate what is under their control and what is not and take action for the part that is under their control to change the outcome.
A great example comes from Richard Branson:
“Forty years ago, Richard Branson, who ultimately founded Virgin Air, found himself in a similar situation in an airport in the Caribbean. They had just canceled his flight, the only flight that day. Instead of freaking out about how essential the flight was, how badly his day was ruined, how his entire career was now in jeopardy, the young Branson walked across the airport to the charter desk and inquired about the cost of chartering a flight out of Puerto Rico. Then he borrowed a portable blackboard and wrote, “Seats to Virgin Islands, $39.” He went back to his gate, sold enough seats to his fellow passengers to completely cover his costs, and made it home on time. “
I learned this story from the book Linchpin by Seth Godin and understood what makes Richard Branson who he is today.
A note to myself (And maybe also for you?) When faced with a situation that is not what we “expected” (it was an expectation anyway – not a reality) let’s take a moment and review the situation as it is. Where do we want to go from here? What are the options? What action will we take? And let’s go!