This morning when I arrived at work, I swiped my badge at the back door as usual, but the door didn’t unlock. There is no one directly inside this door, so knocking would not have helped. I tugged on the door and tried again several times before I gave up and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to walk around the building to the other door in the cold.
There was a time when I would have let this get to me. I would have been frustrated, probably would have taken it personally (why does this always happen to me) and would have stomped around the building in a huff, letting this very small thing set a negative tone for my whole day. Instead, I decided to mentally reframe the setback and view it as positive instead of negative. I asked myself questions such as: Why was I in such a hurry to get to my desk? What was I really losing in the two minutes it takes get to that other door? Is there anything I am gaining? My answers almost surprised me – I was gaining at least 4 things! In being locked out of my usual door, I was able to enjoy 2 more minutes of sunshine, 2 more minutes of fresh air, and get a little extra exercise. Plus, I got to pat myself on the back for “not sweating the small stuff.”
If I were to have let this get me down, by the time the next small thing came along, it could have easily created an avalanche of negativity and turned my day very sour. Instead, I walked in with a smile on my face, fueled by that extra (and unexpected) shot of happiness.
This is just an example of how important it is to make remaining in a state of peace our priority. Life throws some crazy things at us. Sure, this might be harder to do with much larger things than getting locked out, but when we practice our skills on the trivial things, then the significant curve balls life throws become much less threatening. There’s always a silver lining to any situation. We just have to look for it. As Wayne Dyer, one of my favorite authors, says, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”