A (Better) Way to Look at Setbacks

This is actually a revised version of a piece I posted in another blog a few years ago. I found it while sifting through my online folders, looking for writing ideas. I have a feeling that it was no coincidence that I came across this now—that I, and maybe even you, needed to be reminded again.

images I recently heard the most remarkable story during my morning commute to the office.  It really didn’t make a point I’d never considered before, but it drove home that point in quite a memorable way.

I have a practice of listening to teleclasses and webinars that I’ve downloaded  from the internet and burned to CDs, and audiobooks that I sometimes buy when I’ve run out of the online freebies, while driving. The topics I listen to run the gamut, from how to promote my blog to how to manifest everything I want in life.

This particular story was part of a “how to think like a millionaire” CD set (I occasionally give another go at trying to wrap my middle class mind around that) that I’d bought some time ago and hadn’t listened to in ages.  Or maybe I hadn’t even gotten this far into the set before—it would seem I would have remembered this story if I’d heard it before.

As he told it, motivational speaker and writer Denis Waitley was in an airport a number of years ago, rushing to catch a plane for his next speaking engagement in another city.  To his complete dismay, he was told that he was too late to board it. Waitley tried everything from righteous anger to pleading in the hopes of getting on that plane, but even as he did so he could see the ground crew beginning to wave the plane into its slow, lumbering taxi.  He couldn’t believe he was actually missing his flight, would miss his speaking engagement, and would miss the large amount of money he would have made that evening.

He proceeded to go to find someone at the airport with which to lodge a formal complaint.  He never  made it that far, though; as it turned out, he heard that the very DC-10 he had a ticket for never fully took off.  Instead it crashed in its attempt to get airborne. There were no survivors.

It made me think of the countless times I’ve lost my head in traffic, percolated with anger over decisions I didn’t agree with at work, snarled about  news stories that I thought were ridiculous or unjust, or even impatiently chided myself when I haven’t accomplished everything I think I ought to have accomplished.  Although every once in a while I have been able to catch myself in the moment and think, “Maybe there’s a reason for this,” or “ Maybe you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be,” more often than not,  my immediate reaction is not so…mature.

I’m glad I heard that story this morning, because maybe it will help me begin to choose my reactions to life’s big and little bumps from a healthier perspective.  And I decided to write about it today, just in case you needed to hear this story, too.  Whether you’re facing challenges in your personal life, or you’re struggling to run and grow your business, perhaps those maybes could help.

Maybe there’s a reason for what’s happening.  Maybe you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be…for now.


One response to “A (Better) Way to Look at Setbacks

  1. Wow! What a powerful story – it definately gives a new perspective when things go wrong.

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