I don’t know about you but I tend(ed) to disagree with the world as it was particularly in the situations of getting stranded at the airports, train stations or in traffic jams. Silly enough I carried this conviction in me that the world will tumble and crash if I didn’t make it to the meeting or be on time in a certain place. There was quite a bunch of people to blame for that disaster and I was willing to stretch the blame across them all.
Then I read this story in the “Linchpin”:
“Forty years ago, Richard Branson, who ultimately founded Virgin Air, found himself stranded in the airport in the Carribean. They had just cancelled his flight, the only flight that day. Instead of freaking out about how essential this flight was, how badly his day was ruined, how his entire career was not in jeopardy, the young Branson walked across the airport to the charter desk and inquired about the cost of chartering a flight out of Puerto Rico. Then he borrowed a portable blackboard and wrote “Seats to Virgin Islands 39$”. He went back to his gate, sold enough seats to his fellow passengers to completely cover his costs, and made it home on time.”
Jeez, I thought, you call yourself a creative person but such a thing would never cross your mind. Or wouldn’t? I realized that while we spend time blaming others and panicking we are, actually, wasting our resources to think of creative ways out of a given situation.
Did you notice how easy it is to get yourself busy thinking of how others did you wrong? Going on and on about that uncomfortable situation that happened earlier today? If obsessing about something that is going to take place in the future? It is the ultimate sabotage mechanism keeping us from thinking. From solving rather than blaming. From pulling ourselves into an emotional turmoil that makes us stay exactly in the very same place we are now.
I tended to melt down at the airports and train stations. Disagreeing with what the world really is. Not accepting that there is no one to blame. Getting emotional and not thinking. I will probably do it in the future because getting out of the old trails is not that easy. But I hope to be able to remember the story about Branson. And either look for a solution or relax, sit back, read, think and use this time as a gift to observe myself and others and learn. Learn how the old trails try to pull me in. And how I can reframe.