Recently on a trip to speak in Las Vegas, Nevada I had a lousy travel experience. (Can you say, “United Airlines Stinks?”) I was bumped off a flight the night before, was back early in the morning for a replacement flight, was doomed to a middle seat in the back of the bus, and was generallly pissed off.
I know, I’m supposed to be Mr. Look At The Bright Side, but come on…sometimes it ain’t that easy. (Can you say, “United Airlines Stinks!”)
I was in line — a LONG line – to buy a coffee and generally feeling grumpy. As I stood there a little kid, maybe two years old, was hoping from fossil to fossil in the concourse. You see, in the tiles at Denver International Airport there are decorative brass “fossils” embedded in some of the tiles. They are cool, but to be honest I can’t remember really noticing them since the new airport opened here in Colorado.
I had LITERALLY walked over them without noticing them. But not this kid. Each fossil brought on a, “What’s THIS Daddy?” And her exhausted dad trailed behind each time answering, “It’s fish bones.” (The fossils were of fish.)
“But what is THIS one Daddy?”
“Those are fish bones too.” On and on. Maybe a dozen fossils. And each time the kid was equally psyched to find them. To this kid, they were so cool.
Ok, so I know you’re thinking, “That’s when the motivational speaker in Brad noticed the wonder in the world and …blah, blah, blah.” Nope. I was an idiot.
But thank goodness I was standing in front of a flight attendent. She caught my eye and said, “Isn’t it cool to be reminded of all of the wonder in the world?”
I nodded. But I felt like a 2 x 4 hit me in the noggin’. This woman was right. The kid was wonderful. The fossils were cool. And I was grumpy about what? About a long coffee line when I had plenty of time? About the fact that I “got” to go to Las Vegas to make a bunch of Tax Preparers laugh their butts off?
I was an idiot. But happily, the flight attendent didn’t miss it. And luckily, her comment hit home. Suddenly I was in a good mood again. Suddenly I knew how foolish I was to be ticked at United Airlines. (Though they still stink.) I was just wasting energy being grumpy when, as this kid and the flight attendent reminded me, that life is fun, funny, and filled with magic. And wonder.
I love being a motivational speaker. But I need motivation too… in this case in the shape of fish bones.
Keep your chin up. It just ain’t worth being ticked off.
(Learn about the motivational speech I did in Las Vegas here.)