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Thursday, December 2, 2010

“The Power of Perspective” – a true story

It was a cold, February morning and I was running late to catch a flight. My destination was Louisiana where I was giving my largest-ever keynote speech for a dynamic student leadership conference. I was so excited about presenting my signature program, “Passion, Persistence and The Price is Right!” that I decided to take my winning, infamous ‘Price is Right’ prizes along with me to display as humorous props during the program. I always left these prizes at home when flying because I was convinced they would either get damaged or lost during their dark, chilling Delta Airlines journey.

However, this conference audience of 2,500 students was the largest I had ever spoken for, and I wanted those prizes to make a great, entertaining impression. At the airport check-in, I was told my bag was too large for carry-on. So despite the known risk, I checked my prop prize bag knowing there was a slight chance it might be lost or destroyed. Before sending my bag off with untrusting strangers, I prayed and crossed my fingers that I would see my bag once again 1,700 miles away.

When I arrived to baggage claim in Louisiana, I waited for my bag … and waited.

After twenty minutes and only one remaining individual standing next to me in baggage claim, my bag was nowhere to be found. My back started to sweat and I could feel my temper and blood pressure beginning to boil.

“How could they lose my bag?”, I kept asking myself. “There wasn’t even a connection flight!”

As I stormed into the ‘Lost Luggage” office, I stood behind the other individual whose luggage was also lost. She appeared so angry that tears were streaming down her face. In fact, it only took me 10 seconds to realize that indeed she was crying. What I initially thought was her anger was actually sadness.

The airline did acknowledge losing her luggage. However, her luggage wasn’t toiletries, shoes or clothes. Her luggage was her DOG!

I then came to terms with my own situation. It simply could have been much worse. My prizes were replaceable at Walmart. Her dog wasn’t.

Moral of the story – life is all about PERSPECTIVE. Many times in our lives, we experience unfortunate and frustrating circumstances. At times, we convince ourselves that someone is “out to get us” or that no one cares. Sometimes we ask ourselves negative questions like “Why does this have to happen to me?” or “Why didn’t I …?”

But, as you’ve heard me say numerous times before, we attract exactly what we focus on. When we focus on the negative, we will truly find it. When we focus on what can be positive about a situation, well, we will find that too. So what matters most is our perspective dealing with experiences in our life, the paradigm or lens through which we see our life. Frustrating things happen to everyone. Good, amazing things happen to everyone too. As Charles Swindoll states, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

“Everyone gets knocked down. What’s important is simply getting back up.”
“You can change absolutely anything you want about your life. But you have to change the way you see it first!”

** Oh, and by the way, the airline ended up finding my bag of props within one hour. Unfortunately, they never found her dog.

Check out my website at http://www.facebook.com/l/9ce35yRcjeCinC5MjqfQgtPK9CA;www.kevincsnyder.com

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