This week, I want to share a story with you that demonstrates how what you focus on, and whether you choose to focus on the problem or instead choose to look for a solution or opportunity, really can shape your day.
A few months ago now I began the work week like any other, sitting in front of my laptop. Days at my desk can sometimes become long and I like to mix it up by working on the floor (that’s the primary school teacher in me) or heading outside to my balcony.
On this particular day, I decided to settle on the floor and finish off a few tasks. Despite working at home, I am never alone, and my office companion Barry (my cat), is always close by. Barry was taking his usual afternoon nap on my office chair as I worked on the ground below. Now I am not sure what happened next, but all I know is that I was busy typing away, when Barry somehow rolled off the chair and landed directly on my laptop.
He was fine, my laptop was not.
It was black, cracked and pretty much dead apart from a few odd noises.
At this moment, I had a choice to make.
1. I could chose to react, yell, be mad, cry, panic and spiral out of control until I reached a point of total misery.
2. I could choose to respond calmly, think through my options, seek solutions and manage the situation as best I could.
Even though option 1 would have been easier, and was my first thought, I instead took a breath and went with option 2.
I closed my laptop and drove straight to the Apple Store to solve the problem rather than sit in it feeling sorry for myself and blaming my cat.
It took me a while to realise, but there were some opportunities in all this too. While I waited, I grabbed a coffee and did some work in the sun, I called a friend while I walked back to the store and I paused to enjoy the beautiful day and to remind myself what I have to be grateful for. I probably wouldn’t have done any of those things if I was at home in my office.
So, no matter what is coming your way at the moment, you always have a choice. Take a breath and perhaps look for an opportunity, find a solution or just let it be and enjoy the sunshine. Sometimes that is all you can do.
Note: I did go through a brief moment of feeling annoyed and frustrated but didn’t allow that to get in the way of problem-solving or moving forward. Barry also had detention for a week to think about his actions, he didn’t seem bothered though, and my laptop received a really expensive face transplant.