I don’t like snow. I mean I REALLY don’t like snow. It is one of the things I dread the most. I travel quite a bit and a significant portion of our business depends on my ability to travel. Snow stops travel. As much as I hate snow (did I mention how much I hate it?), it comes anyway. Yet, I know my attitude will determine my experience. So, when there’s a blizzard, build a snowman.
Things happen beyond our control sometimes. We can worry about it. We can think about all of the negative things that it will bring later. We can ponder on the domino effect this negative event will have in our lives. Or, we can view it as an opportunity. What determines the outcome of a snowstorm or any other negative thing? My attitude.
Opportunities for Snowmen
Being snowed in for a few days has its advantages. I was able to start some more work refinishing the dining room walls. I got to cook breakfast for the whole family at once – southern style – bacon, eggs, gravy, and biscuits. I got to watch my three-year-old daughter learn to play Uno while laughing when my teenage son lost! I got to build fires in the fireplace and hang out with my wife watching some of our favorite shows. We also learned that our youngest daughter doesn’t like to play in the snow. She doesn’t like the ocean or pools either. Maybe she just doesn’t like water…
Every storm brings an opportunity. Our attitude determines whether or not we find it. When bad things happen, is there something you can learn? Is there something that is made possible by the difficulty?
Storms will Come
Weather patterns aren’t the only form of storms we have. Storms, that is, difficulties, come in all of our lives. Sometimes we bring them on ourselves. Sometimes they just happen randomly. Whatever the case, there might be an opportunity for something good. However, if my attitude is filled with fear, dread, and doubt, it is not likely I will find the opportunity.
Storms are inevitable. Fear is a choice. We tend to predict the worst. We look at the potential domino effect of difficulty and we take those dominos to extremes. The truth is, our extreme predictions are usually wrong. When looking at the effects of the snowstorm, I could construct a situation where our company will have to close. Yes, this is unrealistic. But going through a series of “what ifs” can lead me there.
Look at things for what they are rather than going through a series of negative, unrealistic possibilities. I choose to look at it for what it is. The team and I will have to spend a little extra time catching up. Our attitude determines whether or not we can see things for what they really are.
Staying positive doesn’t mean avoiding reality. I don’t suggest that anyone stick their head in the sand and not look problems in the eye. However, look at what you can do and forget the rest. When our attitude gets hijacked by fear, we have a tendency to believe we’re out of control. Fear is a powerful emotion that brings about powerful thoughts of helplessness.
There are some things I can do and things I can’t. Some things are within my control and some things aren’t. I can choose to see myself as aimlessly floating about with life happening to me. This is an out-of-control, fear-based way of thinking. It’s an attitude that will keep me anxious, worried, and afraid. Staying positive simply means recognizing that I am not helpless and the situation is not hopeless.
Having a better attitude doesn’t mean you suddenly like the storm. Believe me, I still hate snow – did I mention that? What it means is being willing to take control of what you can and forget what you can’t. Don’t be afraid. You can do this. This storm will pass. In the meantime, build a snowman.
What helps you the most when you face difficulties? Comment below and help others get through their rough time!