The attack happened as I was leaving a grocery store. I had just bought the peanut butter and as I rolled my cart, the large jar fell out of the bag, tumbled out of the cart, and landed on my shin.
Granted, “assault,” may be a strong word but the collision hurt a great deal. Seconds later a welt formed that was so big that it could have been assigned its own zip code. I managed to limp to my car and quickly unloaded my groceries.
At that moment a store associate asked if he could collect my cart. I meant to say, “Here you go,” or “Thanks.” But what came out was more like, “He-nks” and then “Tere nou k.” It was then that I realized that while my injury wasn’t life threatening, it had temporarily robbed me of the ability to speak. The funny thing is that the store associate didn’t seem to notice.
This is one example of the unexpected. In these situations you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Could I have predicted it? No.
- Can I learn from it? Yes.
- Will I do something different next time? Yes!
In business and in life things are going to happen that you can’t prevent? How you learn from these obstacles will help you Clear the Path in the future.
The other unexpected situation happened the previous day. I had just woken up and was checking my email before I have to get ready for a morning presentation. Everything was going fine until I hear a boom in the distance. A second later, my power goes out.
I now have to shower and get dressed without the benefit of electricity. Surprisingly this hardly slowed me down. Why?
- I had picked out my outfit the night before. So there was no danger of my wearing socks that didn’t match my suit.
- I live in Florida where there is the danger of hurricanes and power outages. So I have lots of easily accessible and fully charged flashlights.
- I knew that when I arrived at my presentation, my first stop would be to the bathroom where I could have a final check to make sure that my appearance was acceptable.
In this scenario, I couldn’t have predicted a power outage. But I’ve developed habits that keep me organized and allow me to not be thrown off my game by curveballs. If anything, the lack of electricity was a payoff for my preparation, something I feel validated in continuing.
Bottom Line: The unexpected lives up to its name but that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be at its mercy.