We have all been in situations that we'd rather not be in. Like this guy here. Who hasn't had some sort of hiccup when it comes to air travel. I had one major inconvenience last year that ended up being a positive memory when flying home from NYC. Luckily, I wasn't stranded in an airport. All by myself.
But Richard Dunn did. He got stuck in the Las Vegas airport overnight. Unless you really don't want to get to your final destination at all costs, this is a less-than-desirable situation. How did he handle it? By doing this:
For a lot of us, being in Richard Dunn's shoes may not have led to having that much fun with an unfortunate situation. We could have been angry at an incompetent airline. We could've been sad for not being able to get where we want to go. We may have even been confused for not knowing what to do next. Some may have had thoughts like:
What did I do to deserve this?
Don't they know who I am?
We don't have to be stranded overnight to feel this way. It could be that long meeting you don't want to be in. It could be that flat tire, that traffic jam, being stranded from an ice storm, stuck at a meeting or reunion you'd rather not be in, getting fired or ______. Our first reaction, as humans, is going to think "why did this happen to ME?"
Bad things happen to us. They probably always will. When they do, we are presented with two choices. We can get angry, throw a fit and bring others down with us in the process of self pity (seen that in airport lines more than once).
We can make the best of whatever situation we're in. It's absolutely okay to have those emotions of sadness and frustration. I've also learned that it's okay to voice them from time to time (internalizing everything isn't healthy either). But it's not okay for it to consume us or those around us. We can't choose our circumstances but we can choose how to respond to them.
I knew a guy who lost his job but in the same breath talked about how genuinely excited he was to be able to spend more time with his kids for a while.
I got stranded in the ice storm this year but met some of the friendliest people who were also hiking home (and got to stop and visit at a friend's house for an Old Fashioned on the way).
You may be stuck in a traffic jam but it could also be an opportunity to unwind a bit more and give our brain a little more breathing room.
I was on a bus trip to Tijuana once that lost a tire on the way home. Instead of getting angry and pointing fingers, the group of guys I was with took the opportunity to have fun and play frisbee until AAA arrived.
Richard Dunn got stranded in an airport and made a Celine Dion music video with his iPhone.
More often than we'd like to admit, happiness and contentment are a choice. Martha Washington said it best:
“I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”
It's even biblical. Phillipians 4:11 quotes Paul as saying:
"...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."
Don't let circumstances define you. The world doesn't owe us anything. When a situation spirals out of your control, take a page out of Richard Dunn's book and carpe the heck out of that diem. As my grandfather used to tell me "Once you know you've been had, all you can do is sit back and enjoy the ride."
What are your thoughts?