I HAVE NEVER BEEN VERY FLEXIBLE–neither physically (thanks to family genetics) or mentally. I live by my calendar and hate it when plans change at the last minute.

That is to say, I USED to hate it. These days, I embrace it as an opportunity: What else am I meant to be doing? What is the Universe protecting me from? What opportunities would I have missed had plans not changed?

Protection from Ourselves

Case in point: Yesterday I remembered I had not yet gotten a room at the Waldorf in Boca for my overnight retreat with my business advisor. I was to leave Thursday and return Friday in time enough to spend the weekend with my sister and nephews who are coming up for the weekend.

I hop online and start working on reservations only to discover there were no rooms! What?! Plus, I was having all kinds of issues with the site, not getting to the right page, not finding my correct HiltonHonors number, putting in the wrong dates, you name it.

Finally, I think: “Screw it” and I jump in the car to go meet a friend for lunch with the intention of finishing up my reservations later. On the way, I call my business coach and ask her the names of other hotels in the area. And then she said, “Well, with Hurricane Matthew…”

Um, yeah, that’s right. Even though I’d been on social media all day EVEN COMMENTING AND SHARE POSTS ABOUT THE HURRICANE, it completely slipped my mind that maybe now was not the best time to drive down the east coast of Florida. Could that be why I was having such a hard time booking a room? I don’t know, but I’m glad I was unsuccessful in that endeavor because I would have hated to waste the money on a room I couldn’t use.

I was disappointed, but we made other arrangements. Deep breath. Okay, I can do *this* instead.

Then my dinner plans for tonight got cancelled. And, then, my morning meeting…

A New Approach

Instead of getting upset, or even bothered just a little, I find myself thinking “Cool. How does it get any better than this? I wonder what other adventure is in store for me today? What else is possible?” and “What am I meant to do, instead? Maybe take advantage of the ‘found’ time.”

What I did was to spend some time writing, which I’d really been wanting to do, but had not done. What a gift!

How about you? Are you flexible? Do you go with the flow or fight to swim against the current?

If you want to become more flexible in your thinking–to reduce your anxiety over last minute changes in plans–here is a tip to help you:

5 Questions to Change Your Thoughts

The next time you experience a last minute blip in your well-thought-out schedule, first stop and take a deep breath. After you’ve done that ask yourself these five questions:

  1. What else is possible?
  2. What am I meant to do with this “found” time?
  3. What do I need that I have been making a low priority?
  4. What is the Universe trying to tell me that I’m missing?
  5. How can it get any better than this?

There is no right or wrong answer, only what we choose for ourselves. What if we choose to see change as a gift instead of a punishment? What would we experience that we never before thought was possible?

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