What Are Your Choices?
By Beth Terry
Life is a roller coaster. Unless you live alone in a cave, you will run into people and situations that unnerve you. What can you do? I’ve had three situations in the past month:
- A thief stole my debit card and tried to charge hundreds of dollars in a foreign country.
- Days later, as I sat on the shuttle to the airport I realized one of my bags was missing and was still sitting on the parking lot pavement.
- Earlier that day, I was hurrying to get to the airport and the phone rang. It looked like a client’s number so I picked up, realizing too late It was a telemarketer. I muttered to myself “they are just trying to make a living,” kept my opinions to myself and politely declined. Now very late, I raced out the door, exasperated.
The world sucks
Everyone is out to get me (shuttle driver, identity thief, telemarketers)
I have such rotten luck
I am protected because I’ve made good choices
I have angels looking out for me
I live a charmed life
I pick Choice Two.
~ My bank’s fraud team has my back. National Bank of Arizona called my cell and asked me if I was in Lebanon! Or Arkansas. This was within 5 minutes of the transactions. Thieves stopped in their tracks. Canceled. Intercept! Cool.
~ At the parking lot, another shuttle driver saw my bag, grabbed it and ran to my shuttle. He handed it to my driver and grinned at me. This Parking Spot driver was at the entrance when I arrived and I had helped him with the new system. When I needed help, he was there. Disaster averted! Intercept! Saved me a lot of pain!
~ After the telemarketers call, I sped out of the house. Rounding the corner to get on the freeway, I watched in slow motion as four cars piled into each other at my onramp. I stayed in the middle lane, and took the next onramp. That telemarketer had delayed me just long enough to keep me out of a pile up. Disaster averted! Intercept! Thank God.
In each case I was OK. Each time an “earth angel” had my back. Do these things happen as a reminder someone is looking out for us? Or maybe it’s all coincidence. No matter, I choose to see these events positively. Why? It’s good for the soul, lowers blood pressure, improves heart rate, and increases ability to function. When we believe we are protected and life works out the way it’s supposed to, we may or may not be delusional. But we are healthier for thinking that way.
What are your choices? Look for silver linings, or get depressed. Be an “earth angel” or go it alone. Alert the woman who dropped her wallet while juggling a little kid. Hold open a door. Assist someone with luggage or groceries. Smile at a clerk having a bad day. Think of it as a bank account. Each act of kindness is a deposit. You never know when you’ll need to make a withdrawal.
Granted, you aren’t served if you live your life in denial. But looking for silver linings in every situation short circuits the pity party in your head and gets you back to a productive life.
Copyright © 2011 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Beth Terry is a Resilience and Stress Expert, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Speaking Coach, Speech Writer, Blogger, and Author. Her theme is “finding resilience in an insane world.” With more than 30 years Management and Speaking Experience, she brings sparkle and substance to conference or corporate meetings. Her greatest strength is her ability to synthesize and translate complex ideas in a way that anyone can grasp and use. Currently based in Phoenix, Arizona, she also has an office in Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit her website, BethTerry.com and her blog, CactusWrangler.com for more of her insights.