Dealing with Challenges

May 25, 2022

I was recently scheduled to travel from my home to an event where John Maxwell was speaking. I was so excited to be there and receive encouragement and insight from my mentor. I packed my carefully packed suitcase and got to the airport early to be ready to go. Then life happened…

  1. The direct flight to my destination was canceled, and I was rerouted through Washington DC.
  2. A severe weather pattern was coming through the area near the airport and might delay my flight and then I could miss my connection.
  3. All was looking positive as we boarded the flight only a few minutes late, and I was upgraded.
  4. Then the severe weather arrived including a tornado warning and we had to quickly leave the plane and shelter in place with warning sirens going off in the airport for 45 minutes.
  5. Now if the flight even left for Washington DC, we would arrive late and I could not get to my destination in time to hear John speak, which was the main purpose of the trip.

Now comes the moment of truth… What do I do when life happens? What will my attitude be? How flexible will I be? Will I assume the best possible outcome or the worst outcome?

When I talked to the airline agent about my dilemma, she was apologetic and very helpful. She let me know the flight I was booked on would eventually leave late and I would have to stay overnight in Washington DC at my own expense. The good news was I had a better chance of getting to my destination by getting on the plane and not waiting for the next direct flight. When hundreds of flights are delayed and canceled, it takes several days for things to get back to normal at the airport. Then some more good news, there was an early flight the next morning from Washington DC, that would get me to my destination in time to hear John Maxwell speak. Seemed like the problem was solved.

When life throws you a curveball you have to adjust your stance and not complain. No one ever succeeded by complaining their way to the top. Success in life is about managing emotions and having a level of mental maturity and toughness. Life will never go the way we plan it every day. There will always be challenges and obstacles we must deal with and the more successful we become the more they will end up on our plate. 

I have a three-question process to help me deal with issues when they come up in my life.

  1. What am I feeling? This helps me to acknowledge that I may be angry, frustrated, sad, etc., and not blame someone else. I try to take ownership over “my emotions”.
  2. Why am I feeling this way? Is there a memory from my past that is triggering this? Was I left out of an event I wanted to be at? Was I picked last in school? Was I not heard or valued when I was growing up? This helps me to process my emotions and not just react to them.
  3. What positive steps can I take to deal with the issue in front of me? Positive action empowers and allows me to take better control of the situation.

The story ends with some good news. I got to my destination and was able to hear my mentor John Maxwell speak at the main event and also at a smaller luncheon where we connected personally for a few minutes. I was also able to connect with some business leaders which was unexpected and had a great few days before safely arriving home two days later.

The result of the trip – lesson learned!

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