Improving Resiliency….Bouncing Back With Humor

Recently I attended a meeting in LA at a time when those buttons were introduced from Staples that, when pushed, say “THAT WAS EASY!“ It was novel the first day, 3 days later I heard “THAT WAS EASY” a few times too often.
After the meeting, I packed that overused button in the outside pouch of my suitcase and launched a grueling cross country trip to the next client site. I found an affordable flight from LA to Raleigh, NC on the client’s preferred air carrier, so initially I felt proud of my good find…until details unfolded. I hastily printed out the schedule when reality set in…LA – Raleigh flight time 10+ hrs. Being in a hurry, I never checked to see how many stops were included, I only saw the day, price and hastily confirmed travel plans.

As it turned out, the odyssey flight lumbered across the U.S.: LA, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Tampa, Orlando, Raleigh, leaving 8 A.M. arriving after 11 P.M. amid monsoon rain. With only peanuts, pretzels, water and diet soda enroute all day, and not enough time between stops to find airport food fare, my mood deteriorated quickly. You know the routine when you arrive at your destination: gather luggage, rent a car, find the hotel. On that night, well after midnight and getting lost on a Beeline highway, I finally got directions at a gas station and even succumbed to a tired looking sandwich at a gas station kiosk. At 1 A.M. I pulled into the rain drenched hotel parking lot and took my suitcase out. As I anchored it with my knee against the car, so it didn’t fall over into puddles, I heard the familiar sound “THAT WAS EASY” come from the outside compartment of the suitcase. Yelling to the heavens in that driving rain “NOT!”, I fleetingly saw the humor in the scene and laugh uncontrollably. CHOICE POINT! I could carry my soggy, tired mood to the person who awaited my arrival at the front desk or “CHOOSE” to see the humor in my travel weary day. Fortunately, I chose the latter. I hastily ran into the hotel lobby, shared my story briefly while checking in and the hotel clerk and I both enjoyed a laugh. Best news…he shared his pizza with me and the client site, where I needed to be at 7 A.M., was across the parking lot.

Why share this story? We all need to develop our own version of RESILIENCY, RESOURCEFULNESS, and the ability to REINVENT ourselves at any moment. It’s what I call the new 3 R’s. That’s who we really are and it’s available 24/7. Think about where you’re most vulnerable (ex: public speaking, technology, writing, networking, organizing, prioritizing to name a few). Find ways to harness your vulnerability and choose a different path.

NOTE FROM JOYCE…Everyone has great stories about your own resiliency in situations that happened to you. Share one so we can learn from each other. Meanwhile, enjoy a fun filled, resilient day.