REFLECTION: So here we are in Vancouver, strolling along the walkway on English Bay near the Sylvia Hotel, headed to catch a ferry to Granville Island. Although it’s an overcast day and a bit on the cool side, there’s no rain and very little wind. It’s a great day to be alive and a fabulous day to be at liberty.
No sooner do I lift my eyes to the sky in appreciation, than … whack…smack…splat! I’m assaulted full on (hair, cheek, chin, and neck) by a king-sized slimy torpedo of sea gull poop.
Apparently the gull was travelling at Mach One. The impact resembled a high-velocity stealth attack with a soaking wet dishrag. Any of you who recall having fought with siblings while you were supposed to be washing the supper dishes know exactly what I’m talking about!
It took me by surprise, to say the least. Sure, I’d noticed there were plenty of gulls in the air and pigeons in the trees. The possibility that one of them might have a contract out on me had never crossed my mind.
What was there to do? File a report with the sea gull police? Hold an umbrella overhead everywhere we went? Refuse to walk the streets of Vancouver at all?
There really was only one best course of action. Laugh, mop up the mess, head back to the hotel to rinse off the hair, change my shirt – and know that, at the very least, this will make a good story.
ACTION:If you are alive and breathing, something’s going to surprise you! Guaranteed.
One day it will be a run-in with a sea gull in the air or a vehicle on the street . The next day it might be an unexpected announcement by a child, a colleague, or a client. The day after that it may be a sharp climb in workload, a sharp drop in the stock market, or a surprise shift in the state of your health.
Although we can, when it is warranted, proceed with caution, we can’t protect ourselves from everything by always playing it safe or making rules and accommodations for every potentially tough or unfair situation.
What will be more helpful in the long run, is to cultivate a sense of perspective about life’s events, and a spirit of resiliency about dealing with life’s surprises. That’s truly an exercise of mind over matter.
Odds are … if it isn’t low flying seagulls, it’s sure to be something else. Don’t mind what doesn’t matter.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Bern Williams
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: See this page on the Mayo Clinic site for a helpful article on resilience, complete with a self-survey to check your resilience and tips for developing same: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/resilience/MH00078
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Pause message, ‘Real Information For Real Conversations’, Pause reader LH writes: Through discussion you co-create a plan to manage the workload, regardless of whether it is the manager or the corporate culture to overwork. Frame your conversation from what is best for the organization. Continually demonstrate that through your actions. If things heat up, your actions will not be suspect, as your focus is organizational and not personal. You will be able to demonstrate to those of even higher authority that you have the best interest in the organization’s success. This can never hurt you in the long run.