Friday, November 23, 2007

Make the best of it!

A few years ago my wife and I purchased a motor home. We both love traveling and found this a great way to experience the outdoors while spending time with our kids. This last week we celebrated Thanksgiving with our family in the mountains near our home. I usually make the reservations, but since a few of my in-laws don’t have RV’s, we let them pick a campground that had several cabins.

The moment I arrived, I knew we were in trouble. The park was at least fifty years old and I quickly discovered the sites were too small for my 42’ coach, didn’t have enough power, there was no sewer, and no services. The only place I could park was at the bottom of a hill in the middle of five other campers. You should have seen the look on my teenagers faces when I told them they would have no cell service, no Internet, and no television for the next three days. It was classic. “It is no use complaining about it,” I told them, “there is nothing we can do about it now.” Once we realized we were “stuck”, we all relaxed and made the best of it. We hiked, read, and played games. It was actually a great trip.

Every day we find ourselves dealing with “Bad Situations.” It’s amazing to me to see how some people react to them. Here are a few that you might relate with.

Waiting in a long line. I was recently in line at a retail store and witnessed a lady huffin' and puffin' while complaining how long the line was to anyone who would listen. "Why can't they get more help?!" she exclaimed, along with saying, "This is ridiculous!" every 30 seconds or so. When she finally left the store, just about everyone left in line clapped. When you find yourself in a long line, begin by realizing that your impatience will not make the line go any faster. Then do something to keep yourself occupied: read a book, strike up a conversation with another person, send an encouraging text message to someone who might need it.

Being stuck in traffic. The next time you are stuck in traffic, look at the people in the other cars. Although the suffering of others is generally not a source of humor, it is quite humorous watching how people respond to traffic. While in my car, I recently looked over at a gentleman waving his arms in fury screaming at the traffic. He then looked at me, looking at him, and we both started laughing. Like waiting in line, your fury will not make the traffic go away. Take advantage of this time by listening to a cd.

Being threatened or sued by a person or company.

Here are some general things to remember when faced with a bad situation:

It is pointless and non-productive to be worried, angry, or upset. Although these are usually some of the initial reactions to adversity, we must learn to take control of our emotions and move to a more productive state of mind.

See the big picture. In most situations we refer to as "bad", they are really quite insignificant when looking at the big picture. If you are taking a week's vacation with your family, you miss your flight, and you are fortunate enough to get a flight that leaves 6 hours later, realize that only a small portion of your vacation is affected. Accept the situation and then make the best of it.

Look for good in a bad situation. Just about every bad situation has the seed of an equivalent or even greater good; you just need to know where to look. This is where a positive mental attitude really comes in handy. At the very least, bad situations can be written off as good experience. "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."

Maintain a good sense of humor. A good sense of humor can make light of just about any bad situation. Laughter really is the best medicine.

The next time you find yourself in a bad situation, remember attitude and action. At first, you may feel like you are fighting your true emotions, but remember that negative emotions will only make the situation worse while positive emotions can quickly spread and make the situation better for everyone involved. The ability to make the best of a bad situation is a sign of true leader. And lord knows, we are looking for “True Leaders”!

1 comment:

LUCHADOR said...

right on dude!!!

there is a leadership blog out there!!!