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Being flexible with your expectations

Wednesday LIVE with Evie #30

Part 1

Part 2
(because Facebook wanted to see how flexible I could be with my expectations)

Have you ever been really tied to a certain way of doing something in your business?

Or maybe there was something that you were sooo sure was going to go a certain way and then it didn’t (and it frustrated you to no end)?

I know that I’ve been extremely tied to how I think I should be doing things or how I’ll reach a certain goal, or even what reaching that goal will look like.

And when things don’t quite work the way I’m expected, I get frustrated and sometimes try to power through!

But sometimes, (well, maybe a lot of times) it’s proved more helpful if I take a step back and look at my options. On occasion, there’s been a much easier path, if I just adjust slightly to see it (warning, this can be really hard to do by yourself 🙂 ).

So, this week we talked about being flexible with your expectations.

And if you want to catch next week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie—head over to Facebook and like my page here (that way you’ll receive a notification when I go live).

The path was blocked for a reason

This morning I drove over to the Fox River to go on a walk. The river is very high from all the rain that we (and upriver) has had over the past week or two. It’s at flood stages or past.

Where I go, there are paths on both sides of the river. The path on the west side is several feet higher than the path on the east side.

The park that I’ve been starting from (on the east side) was closed due to the height of the river, as was the park on the other side of the road (same side of the river).

However, there’s a small parking lot on the other side of the river and I generally walk on the west side anyway (there’s no park with bathroom on that side or pavilion). So, I parked there.

After my walk I sat and watched the river, there’s a lot of water and it’s moving very quickly.

As I’m driving away, I notice two bicyclists on the east side of the river. They were lifting up the caution tape blocking the park and bike path entrance and going under. I also notice that the bike path just further down was flooded for a short length, maybe 7 feet. This particular spot is near the bottom of a dam, meaning the water is churning not far from where it’s flooded over the path.

I was worried for them – the path was blocked for a reason. I slowed down and saw them bike through the water safely.

But I wondered if they knew that if they would have taken the sidewalk up about 100 feet and biked through a parking lot they could have safely avoided that water on the path and joined the path about 1/8th of a mile up (seriously, not very far).

And I couldn’t tell, but I wondered if the path was blocked further up because of the height of the river.

I hope that they stayed safe.

And I can’t help but wonder why it was sooo important to bike on that side of the river?

Was there something further up the trail that was their end destination?

Did they not know that there’s a trail that goes north on the other side of the river?

Or did they just have it in their heads that this was the path that they were biking this morning?

And the fact of the matter is, I don’t know their reasons.

But as I was sitting at my desk this morning, wondering what I was going to write you and what this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie was going to be, I thought of those bikers.

Now, in your business, you’re probably not going to find yourself in a situation where you’re potentially putting yourself in harm’s way because you’re SOOO focused on something.

But maybe you’ve been sooo focused on a one way of doing something or how you expected something to work out, that you missed that there were other easier options (like the bikers going up the sidewalk and through a parking lot or taking the path on the other side of the river).

So, this week let’s talk about being flexible with our expectations for Wednesday LIVE with Evie. Check out the Facebook event here.

Let me know where you find yourself getting tunnel vision or being overly tied to one way of doing something or a specific expectation.

What’s your focus? What’s wrong, what’s wright, or what’s not working?

Wednesday LIVE with Evie #29

When something unexpected happens in your business or life, what do you tend to notice?

Several years ago I read an article that said that the problem with today’s business culture is that we focus on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right (ironic isn’t it!).

I was still working as an Implementation Specialist at the time (being project manager, help desk, and computer programmer). And I remember thinking how my clients would be pretty dang upset if I decided to focus only on what was working – especially because a large part of my job was about focusing on what WASN’T working.

So, we talked about the difference between focusing on what’s wrong, what’s right, and what’s not working.

Our 90-minute trip took 3 hours

Nate (my husband) and I spent yesterday evening at my in-laws. My sister-in-law and oldest nephew arrived yesterday to spend a few days with them AND Friday was my mother-in-law’s birthday.

But the trip home is what I want to share with you.

We left about 9 pm and expected to be home about 10:30. We actually got home about midnight.

Here’s what happened.

The interstate that we normally take is under major construction (2-3 lanes of traffic on a 4-5 lane highway are unavailable). So, they’ve moved one lane of traffic onto the other side of the median, making a kind of “express” lane. It’s completely blocked off and safe.

Nate decided to take that lane and then we slowed to a stop.

NO one is moving, but all the other lanes of traffic are fine, we just can’t get there.

I jokingly say to Nate “You chose badly” (referring to choosing the “express” lane).

I had brought my planning notebook that normally stays at home because I hadn’t planned my week yet. I jokingly say to Nate, I’m going to get this out now and do it because as soon as I do, traffic will move.

I plan my week (in record time with no distractions!) and we didn’t move.

Maybe an hour into our wait, Nate (who had to get up early for a work appointment this morning) apologizes for choosing badly. I’m not upset about it, he had NO way of knowing this would happen.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we moved maybe half a mile.

Then, traffic cleared up and we zipped right along.

I realized later that a few years ago this experience would have gone very differently for me. I would have been upset at the delay, upset with Nate, and annoyed that my Monday morning wasn’t going to go as planned (either sleeping a bit more or tired).

However, yesterday, my biggest concern happened once we got moving and it was: how far are we from the oasis so we can stop and use the bathroom?

It made me think of how sometimes we focus on what’s going wrong instead of focusing on what’s going right or even what’s not working.

Let’s talk about that in this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie. Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.