Sadly, the Lowther Show has been cancelled today. I’m sad for the visitors who have missed an exciting day out, the traders who have lost sales and the organisers who will take a big financial hit. However, for myself, it feels like a treat. Rather like when school was closed with a power cut, and we received an unexpected day off!
Life is full of these kind of surprise events that can easily throw you off course. You have made a plan; you have a target in mind and are quietly and systematically working towards it. Then, out of the blue something comes along that knocks you down.
How do you react? What emotions do you feel?
With my lost earnings from Lowther, I could so easily spend today moaning about my bad luck, complaining about the organisers or the weather. Perhaps even asking why this always happens to me and experiencing a bout of self-pity.
But what good would it do?
It won’t change anything; it won’t get the show back on, and it certainly won’t make me feel any better about the situation or myself.
So today, with a big smile on my face for the unexpected good fortune of a day off, I will write a blog post and then spend all afternoon out on my bike exploring Cumbria. I feel lucky rather than unlucky. Happy rather than angry. Full of joy rather than despair.
Next time you experience something unexpected that you wish hadn’t happened, I urge you to remember that you have the power within you to control your emotional response. You cannot control external events, but you can control the narrative inside your head and how you react.
It’s not easy, especially when you are under pressure and it feels like bad things keep happening. But it is precisely at these moments that you must take a slow and deep breath. Calm yourself and think things through.
First, look for a solution to the immediate problem, and then most importantly look for the good things that can come out of it. This step is the most crucial as it moves you from a self-pity mode into a gratitude mode. The more you practice this, the easier it will get.
Live each day with joy and gratitude in your heart, and I promise that you will experience the life you have always dreamed of.
Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.