Every time a stressful situation arises in my life, I am presented an opportunity. Each opportunity is different, each one has it’s own level of challenges, but each one always comes with great reward ⏤ Growth. Biology is biology, no matter how you shape it. Appropriate exercise applies stress to our muscular and cardiovascular systems. Muscle fibers, oxygen uptake, and blood flow all adapt to that stress by growing in size and strength. The right amount of stress applied to our cognitive minds will result in increased memory, intellect, and neuroplasticity. Plain and simple, appropriately applied stress results in systematic growth. Our mission should be to take each stressful situation that presents itself and ensure that we apply it appropriately.
I drove from Vegas to San Diego, back to Vegas, and then back to San Diego ⏤ in One Night.
Here’s a story from this week to perfectly describe what I mean in each stressful situation that presents itself, an opportunity comes attached directly to it.
This week my family and I headed back to San Diego for some work. My wife had business meetings with her company that she needed to be present for and I had a podcast to record to discuss the release of my new book ⏤ not to mention we get to show off our beautiful baby girl to some friends who havent had the chance to meet her. Anytime we leave town we have to find accommodations for our two pit-bulls left at home. Last year while traveling to Australia for Tony Robbins DWD Gold Coast, we used a service called Rover that pairs you with local dog sitters in your area. It was great, easy, managed, and insured. We got paired with an amazing person who loves our dogs. When we first met, and they found out that we were traveling for Tony Robbins, they revealed some of their past hardships and exclaimed that Tony had really changed their life. I knew this was meant to be. Things went great that trip and I couldn’t of been happier. So, logically we went with the same service on this weeks trip to San Diego. We left Monday afternoon and arrived in San Diego without a problem. We realized that our dog sitter hadn’t showed up yet and reach out to them. Come to find out they are having car trouble and not sure what to do. Money is tight and they can’t seem to find anyone to help. I decide to order her an Uber as the best option. The sitter wants us to just take it out of their pay, but the Uber is more than the daily rate and not the point of trying to help someone out. A short time after, the dog sitter calls back a little frantic ⏤ they have made an easy mistake with our backdoor and locked themselves out. It’s 10pm, it’s cold, and it’s starting to rain. The person is locked out with both dogs and has no way to get in or go somewhere else. The dog sitter tells us they feel horrible, they’re going to cancel the service fee, but just don’t know what to do. What do you do?
This is obviously a stressful situation. I’m in San Diego, five hours away, with my wife and 5 month old baby and have my dogs with someone I’ve only met once before locked out of my home in the backyard. This is where mindset becomes a critical component of everyday life. I have the right to be upset, to be angry, or to even just breakdown not knowing what to do. I also have an opportunity to make a difference, be a positive example, and lead my family. I decide to seize the opportunity. After calling a locksmith, I realize that’s not an option. So, we get the dog sitter an Uber back to their home, and I head back to Vegas. It’s just after 10pm and my wife needs to be at her meeting by 8am. If I left right then, I could make it back take care of the situation, turn right around and make it back just in time. That’s exactly what I did. I jumped on Audible, grabbed a new book (Simon Sinek’s Start with Why), and jumped on the freeway. About 4 and half hours later I was home. I let the poor dogs in, gave them some love, filled their food and water, grabbed the dog sitters things left on the counter, and I was off. I stopped at their place to return their belongings and inform them that their services are still needed, they will be paid in full, and that sometimes life just throws us a curveball. We discuss that the car will be good in the morning with just a minor fix and the real thing that matters is that our dogs love them, and they love our dogs. The dog sitter is mind-blown how understanding and calm we’ve handled the entire situation. Just like that, I’m back on the freeway, coffee in hand, and headed to San Diego. Listening to Simon Sinek detail the blunders and successes of some the worlds largest corporations and leaders, I pull into our hotel at 7:50am. The wife jumps in and I drop her at the office with time to spare. I drove from Las Vegas to San Diego, back to Las Vegas, and then back to San Diego ⏤ in One Night. Crisis averted. Stress relieved. Impact made.
The point of this story is to illustrate that life will happen no matter what you do. Some things are completely out of your control. People will be late, accidents will happen, mistakes will be made, and it will all happen again and again and again. Sickness, death, divorce, bankruptcy, it doesn’t matter the situation you find yourself in, you have an opportunity just the same. Your mindset and the way you shape and frame each situation is up to you. I didn’t see an issue to cause me to be angry or even upset. I saw an opportunity to be a positive light in someone else’s life, to maybe ease their burden for at least one night. I saw an opportunity to have ten hours of uninterrupted time to myself to read/listen to a new book and really focus on my self. I saw an opportunity to be the example to my family on how to handle a stressful situation, how to treat other people, and how to live with optimism in a cynical world.
Life happens. We must be prepared to endure hardships on every level. Each and every time we do, we grow a little stronger. Know that, embrace it, and approach every stressful situation with that understanding. That State of Mind will change the way you look at life. It will change those around you. It will improve your health. It will impact everyone you meet. You will be a better person and people around you will be better just for knowing you.