I was standing in the queue at Starbucks being excited in the anticipation of the first day of a long week of the Leadership Conference, a full on transformational event with lots of speakers, training sessions, and mind-expanding experiences. I was wearing a beautiful high quality dress and heals; I had my hair done and a makeup on. The day was going to be great! Anyhow, I was waiting for my green tea minding my own business.
A few moments later, in came a Starbucks employee with a huge cart of different goods. On the very top of that over packed cart, there was a tray with yogurts being in a very precarious position. Suddenly, as the employee turned the cart, the top tray with yogurts came tumbling down on the floor, on my shoes, and on my dress…
Ughr!!! Really?! Why do I have to be standing next to it?
The poor Starbucks employee tried to apologise but I darted from the store being absolutely furious. I was spitting feathers!
As I was walking upstairs to change the dress and figure out how I am going to get the stain out, I was thinking: it is time for you to practice what you teach, Anna. Don’t get whined up about unimportant things. When these utterly stupid things happen to you, it is a perfect time to step outside of the upsetting situation and not let it mar your happy mood.
Easier said than done
But I had to calm down!
As soon as I shifted my energy, I got a phone call from Starbucks. The lady on the phone profusely apologised for what happened (she must have been the manager on duty) and she offered to get the dress cleaned at the hotel dry cleaning service. She also told me to stop by at the store to get my free gift voucher.
You can’t beat American customer service!
Life happens! We cannot control everything that is going on around us. What we can control is our attitude. I know, it sounds cliché, but it so true.
If I could give you one tip on how to improve your life, it would be: don’t let petty things get in the way.
Don’t put crown on your circumstances! Whatever might be happening to you right now will pass. And most likely, with the hindsight you will think how foolish you were to be frustrated, worried, or anxious about those “unpleasant” events. Besides, every event gives us a life lesson if we bother to look for a deeper meaning.
So what do you do when something unexpected and unpleasant happens to you?
You just drop it.
If you can’t change the situation or undo something that has already transpired (like those yogurts being spilt on my expensive dress), there is no reason in wasting your energy on it and whinging about it. Shift your perspective on the things that matter, things you should be doing now, things that will bring you return and rewards. Look at the big picture!
Life is too precious to be squandering it on unimportant and petty things.
Life, actually, is in the session now. Are you being present?
People unfortunately spend too much of their time in the non-existent: thinking about something that happened or worrying about something that has not yet happened, missing out on the present moment, where all life really happens.
I teach people to live a conscious life: evaluate and reflect on your past and plan for your future, but stay in the now. The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet; all you have is now.
Anyways, I decided to make the best of that day. I changed to a different dress, fixed my makeup, put a smile on my face and took a second chance to begin a great day! And what an amazing day it was! Phenomenal mind-expanding sessions, meeting people from all over the world and listening to their stories, and just having a great time.
When I got into the hotel room at night, physically tired but spiritually rewarded, I saw my dress hanging in the wardrobe, as if nothing ever happened. It made me smile.
Don’t let petty thing get in the way. They are not worth it!
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