Your kids have an unexpected snow day, a bummer since you had a full list of things to do today. Can they help you accomplish some of those things or can you all work on a different something that's been on your list for ages? Can you skip the productivity and take a break?
Your proposal is rejected by a prospective client. Are there parts of it that can be used again for another project? Are there lessons you learned from not getting the business? Do you have a better understanding of what prospects are looking for?
You forgot to make reservations and your favorite restaurant is packed. Is there another place you can try that you might not have discovered otherwise?
We always have a choice when things don't go our way. What if instead of getting mad, frustrated or annoyed, we made the most of it? Or at least if after we get mad, frustrated or annoyed, we make the most of it?
Regular readers of this blog know I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin. On a recent Happier podcast episode, Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth suggested saying "This is actually good for me" when something bad happens. The day after I listened to this episode, an employee called out sick. That meant I had to conduct some of the exit interviews she would have normally have conducted. With a full slate of things to work on that day, I really didn't have the time or patience to complete the exit interviews.
The first interview went fine, though I was irritated I had to do it. But right before I called the second scheduled interviewee, I remembered Gretchen and Elizabeth's advice and I said to myself, "This is actually good for me. It's been a while since I conducted an exit interview and doing so will make me more empathetic toward my team members who do them all the time. And sitting out here in our new work space is giving me an understanding of what the employee experience is like." And then conducting that exit interview felt like a blessing, not a curse.
There's wisdom in the adage "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
We always have a choice. Something doesn't go your way? Make the most of it.
Photo by Francesca Hotchin on Unsplash