Yesterday, the power was out at my studio.
I had a full calendar of meetings, tasks & orders to get out.
Since I am leaving today to go camping in torrential non-stop rain, I had lots to wrap up before heading out of town.
I got to work at 8:30 and there was no power.
I need internet, lights and my printer to do my work.
I had a choice.
Option 1: Freak out about the potential consequences of orders being delayed, production schedule no longer on time, marketing materials not getting prepared. I could sit there in the dark stewing about how much this sucks and wishing the power would come back on.
Option 2: Go home and work from my bedroom while listening to the rain. Focus on what I was able to do from home, and move the rest of the tasks to next week’s calendar. Appreciate the unexpected day to enjoy loads of peaceful quiet.
Neither option changed the circumstance.
The power did not get fixed until 10:30 PM.
But while I was briefly tempted to consider option #1, I declined and took option #2.
* * * * * * * * * *
This choice applies to many areas of life & business.
1. Stuck in horrific traffic?
You can choose to get road rage, yell at other cars, work yourself into a stressed out tizzy about being late
Enjoy the extra time to listen to music, and audio book, or to get lost in thought about something on your mind
2. A new soapmaker selling in your town?
You can choose to freak out that there is already too much competition and your sales will suffer and the market is saturated and this sucks
Take the opportunity to step up your marketing game, do a better job of defining your target market and create pipeline of wholesale prospects that is beyond impressive
3. Failed batch of soap
Stress about the wasted time & ingredients
Learn the chemical process of soapmaking and why this particular batch reacted in the way it did. What is the lesson to learn that makes you more skilled at your craft?
* * * *
I could go on but the point is that EVERY circumstance gives you a choice to react negatively or positively.
<I challenge you to tell me a situation where you could ONLY choose a negative, pessimistic response>
The thing about that choice is that when you choose to focus on the downside, you are the one who suffers. You are not the only one either – the people around you will also get to enjoy what you are like when you are stressed, frazzled & anxious.
Stress literally produces a physical reaction in your body that can last for hours.
I know that this is not an easy thing to fix. Running a business presents me daily with tempting scenarios that I could react negatively to.
It has taken careful thought / study / planning to DECIDE (in advance) that when something SH*TTY happens, I will choose to react calmly.
I will keep my eye on what unexpected treat lies behind a circumstance, and what the hidden lesson is (there is always a lesson if you look hard enough).
EVERY TIME you get stressed out, be aware that it was your choice to allow those feelings to take over, and you can choose a different option next time.
Unless you like being stressed, worried & frazzled – if that is the case, ignore this post.