Thursday Thought – The Problem is…

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“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

A few months ago my wife and I were traveling together and our return flight home was delayed due to mechanical issues with the plane. First the delay was 30 minutes, then an hour, then four. Next thing we knew, the flight was canceled and we had a choice in front of us in how we wanted to react to the situation.

There’s no denying we were frustrated and disappointed. We’d rushed to the airport to make sure we were there on time, and then had absolutely no control over being able to get home according to our plans.

We could take that frustration and use it for good or evil. Evil, letting emotions get the best of us, sending us into a tailspin about the meetings we might miss, the extra money we’d spend in pet sitters, the overall inconvenience of every frustrating consequence of missing a flight home; or good, finding a way to be nice to everyone we’d need to speak to as we made new arrangements to get home as quickly as possible.

Luckily the delay was related to the plane itself rather than weather, and in the end we were able to get a later flight home that same night. Rather than go into a tailspin of emotion over a list of things that would never actually come to fruition, we were grateful for the help in getting our flights changed.

“I don’t blame or complain about things like the economy, the government, taxes, employees, gas prices, or any of the external things that I don’t have control over. The only thing I have control over is my response to these things.”
—Jack Canfield

I heard Jack Canfield speak ten years ago on this very thing. When I remember to actively make a choice in how to react to a given situation, I feel pretty damn good. It’s remembering to make that conscious choice before the tailspin of emotion creeps in that gets a bit tricky.

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