A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great people. It was a very special time for all of us.
My return flight arrangements for this trip required that I stop in Detroit before flying back to Atlanta. After making that original reservation, another meeting came up making it necessary for me to catch a flight to Las Vegas as soon as I landed in Atlanta. I was to arrive in Atlanta at 4:00 p.m. then catch my flight to Las Vegas, which was scheduled to depart at 5:30. Had I known about both of these trips prior to making the original reservations for the trip to Michigan, I would have made different routing arrangements. However, because the two different trips came up at two different times, I had two different itineraries.
When I arrived at the small Saginaw airport on Monday morning, I went to the ticket agent and asked if it were possible, since it was the same airline, to fly directly to Las Vegas from Detroit and by-pass my Atlanta connection. Well, you would have thought I had asked for a year of free flights on the airline! In great detail I was told that what I had requested was impossible because I had made two separate reservations and if I did not start my Las Vegas trip from Atlanta as scheduled, then my return flight back to Atlanta from Las Vegas would be deleted since it had not originated from Atlanta; and that even if it were possible, to do so would mean not only a penalty for changing my ticket, but also additional fees to cover the difference in the price of the flights, etc. So, basically, what I was asking for was incredible, unbelievable, unrealistic and simply just not possible.
Well, I know “when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em” and it was time for me to smile, thank them and come to grips with the fact that I was going to have a long travel day. I had to fly to Detroit and from there to Atlanta. Then, I would start my next trip from Atlanta to Las Vegas. It was not the end of the world; it was just going to make for a really long day of travel.
We boarded the plane in Saginaw and as we were about to leave, the pilot made an announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem. The latch on the cargo bay is broken and will not close. It is not going to keep the plane from flying, but we will not be able to carry any luggage on this flight. So, if you checked luggage, you will need to de-board, reclaim it, and check it on a later flight.”
Now everything changed. Because the flight was going to be delayed and none of us would get our luggage, new doors of opportunity opened to us. This time when we approached the agents at the counter, it was as though we were speaking to a totally different group of people, with totally different rules! Now I was told that it was absolutely possible to go straight from Detroit to Las Vegas and, not only that, but there would be no extra charge. Amazing! That broken latch on the plane had just made what was entirely impossible a few minutes earlier, all of a sudden very possible. And, in a matter of minutes we were on our way.
The reason I am telling you this is because it would have been so easy when things went wrong to just go with them. I could have gotten angry and argumentative when told that what I wanted to do was impossible – even though I have traveled enough to know it was very possible. But I have learned that does no one any good. Because I was able to “keep my cool”, I ended up being able to do exactly what I wanted to do in the first place. And, at no additional charge and no additional stress!
So, the next time life throws a wrench in your plans, just take a deep breath, and realize that it may all be for a purpose. Often the harder you try to force something to happen the way you want it to, the less likely it is to happen. Remember, things don’t happen TO you, they happen FOR you! When you learn to relax, go with the flow, and just simply trust that things are happening for a reason the way they are supposed to, everything will be okay in the end, and you will not have to pay extra for it either! Is that a good deal or what!?!
Tip: When things go wrong, don’t go with them!
Reprinted with permission from the "Tip of the Week".
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