EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
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.
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
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