It ain’t easy being a motivational speaker! I’m writing this on my way to Hawaii to conduct a leadership retreat. That’s the fun part. Now being on a Delta jet that hasn’t been cleaned properly, for a five-hour-plus flight, with no in-seat entertainment system, no adapter for my laptop, and only an old movie I never heard of which I can watch only on a monitor over my head, or a tiny one about 15 feet away. So I really want to be cranky, but that isn’t really going to serve me is it?
It’s tough being a motivational speaker when you have to follow your own advice…
I was commiserating with Kyle Maynard about this on Twitter during the flight. He sent me the YouTube video from Louis CK with his hysterical bit about how we take things for granted – like sitting in a chair, flying at 35,000 feet.
At times like that, it’s good for me to remember when I had to travel by Greyhound bus. But I won’t lie: There’s still a part of me that thinks about the thousands of dollars I’m spending for a First Class ticket and receiving substandard service from an airline. So I tweet or blog about it and vent my frustrations. But I never lose sight of how lucky I am to have the problems I have.
And that’s the thing about problems…
None of us likes to have them. But we all need them. Because they mean we’re attempting something worthwhile. They teach us lessons, help us develop character, learn new skills and grow in many other ways.
And it’s when we don’t feel like doing something we need to do it. It’s when you don’t feel like working out that you really need to hit the gym. It’s when you’re facing some crappy situation that you have to keep the right attitude.
Because none of us completely controls what happens to us. But we all have the choice to choose how we respond to those situations. It isn’t always easy to keep the right mindset. But it’s worth it.