December 8, 2015admilnComments 0
As I write this month’s article, I do it from a part of the globe which is not ravaged by war or under siege. My family and I enjoy great health and access to fine doctors when needed. We have a roof over our heads and a refrigerator full of food. To boot, I have chosen an industry which is currently booming which is good for my personal cash flow as well as my personal financial statement.
With these blessings, one would think that I walk on sunshine every day without a care in the world. Even though I choose to believe that one dictates his/her own attitude, I still deal with the many frustrations which all in apartment ownership and management are used to and I sometimes get distracted from being as positive as I could and should be.
My best decisions in all facets of business and life are made when I lift myself out of any negative emotion. If you think about the decisions you made when you were upset, you’ll find that many did not work out well for the other party which then almost always has negative repercussions for you.
Whenever I’ve made the conscious decision to recognize when I’m not in a good frame of mind and to take some time to think about positive things in my life, I’ve gotten far better results.
As a test, next time you are in a bad mood and draft an e-mail or e-mail response which feels angry and/or harsh (I call them “flame mails”), complete it and just before hitting the send button, STOP. Save the e-mail as a draft and leave it unsent until the next day. Whenever I have done this, my feelings were different the next day and often times dramatically so. I almost always redraft the e-mail or simply delete it. It is amazing how perspective changes with a mood.
Recently I was traveling back to Los Angeles from Hartford, Ct through Philadelphia. As a frequent flier, I tried to check in for my son, one of my best friends and for me but was unable to do so. When we got to the airport, we were told that our seats for the flight from Philly to Los Angeles had be given away and we were on stand-by on an overbooked flight. Things didn’t look good and the person working the counter for the airline wouldn’t care that I was the CEO of a large management company and syndication firm. I was just a stranger who had one of the many problems she was going to have to deal with during her shift.
Even though I was furious that our seats which were bought a couple of months prior along with our upgrades had simply been given to other people, I immediately checked my attitude as sugar will go further than vinegar. I saw that she didn’t have any solutions so I politely asked if her supervisor would come and assist.
Once her supervisor came and took over, I smiled and told her how much I appreciate her assisting me. I also asked her if I could call her by her first name which was Vanessa and introduced myself when she said, “yes.” My 15 year old son rolled his eyes as he thinks I am a schmoozer and he is right.
In a calm voice and coherent manner, explained our situation along with our goal of getting home on the flight which were originally booked. Vanessa listened intently and took notes before telling us that she would work on it but that we needed to get to our flight to Philadelphia which was now boarding.
As I emerged from the TSA screening, I heard my name being called by Vanessa who was running through the terminal to catch us. She said that while she couldn’t get my seats back, she was able to get seat assignments for all three of us so that we had certainty of returning that evening. As she handed me our tickets, I thanked her for her efforts and felt grateful that she took up my charge to get me home.
While obstacles beyond our control appear before us on a daily basis if not hourly on many days, the only thing in our power is how we deal with them. The very best at solving these situations consistently are usually the most successful in their careers and personal lives. Had I gotten irate with Vanessa and the ticket agent, my anecdote might have included an overnight stop in Philadelphia and a red eye home.
We have many blessings in our life. When we recognize them and the people who make our existence more pleasant, good things happen. Happiness isn’t an accident, it is a frame of mind!