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The Good, the Bad, and the Not-So-Good-Looking

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I have been applying Positive Psychology for about twenty years now and especially in the past few years since I wrote my book, Enjoy Life: Healing with Happiness. If you want a copy, click <here>.

Positive attitudes, no matter what happens. I am getting pretty good. Rudyard Kipling, in his poem, If, said, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same . . .” He challenges us to keep our balance, to look at all events simply as events that pass by. He challenges us to not identify with the good and the bad. I think I am doing that.

I pulled into Little Rock and headed for the Peabody Hotel. The next day I was presenting a seminar on positive psychology for therapists, and I was glad that the attendance looked good. When I got to the front desk, they said the hotel was full because of a convention. They upgraded me to the Presidential Suite, on the top floor. No extra charge. The Presidential Suite goes for $3,000 a night, they claim. I wonder if there are discounts for AARP.

I opened the door and found I was in a room about the size of the main floor of my house. Kitchen, sitting area, meeting area, formal dining area. No bedroom. On the west end there were stairs going up, and the bedroom, a sitting area, a shower room and a bath room were all upstairs. I lugged my baggage upstairs. The tub was jetted and looked pretty good. I filled it up and settled down for a nice soak.

It occurred to be that since I was in Little Rock, perhaps President Bill Clinton himself had bathed in this very tub!

So I jumped out and took a shower.

Does luxury make a difference? Not at all. I felt no different at all from times when I have stayed in an inexpensive room. I showered, shaved and was ready for the workshop the next day. I enjoyed the duck-shaped soap (it is the Peabody, after all, so ducks are ubiquitous). I saved it for a granddaughter.

Last Monday I was late to the airport. I was headed for Miami for a series of workshops and when I realized I had left me cell phone at home, I swung around and headed back. I now didn’t have time to get to the airport, park in the extended parking area and wait for the shuttle to get me to the terminal. So my wife drove me, dropping me off. I made it through security and was running down the concourse to my gate. As I got close, a strange sight. The information board was turned off and there were long lines at the desk. I learned the aircraft that was to take me to Atlanta so I could make the Miami flight had ingested a bird on final. Landing safely, the engine would have to be rebuilt. So the aircraft was out of service and they were waiting

Since I had three hours to change planes in Atlanta and the next flight would take off in an hour and a half, I saw no reason to worry. But as time went by, there was no aircraft at the gate, and we finally got word that the airplane would depart at 4:00 PM, too late for me to make my connection.

There is always another way. We found a flight to Los Angeles that would connect with a midnight direct flight to Miami. I took it.

Around 6:40 AM we were landing at Miami. I had now been in the same clothes for twenty-four hours, I had three hours of sleep on the plane, no shower, no shave. I made it to the workshop by 8:30, started a half hour late.

Yet I felt just the same as I had after the Presidential Suite. This happiness stuff really has made me much more resilient, and far less likely to identify with highs and lows.

The workshop went well. At noon, I grabbed a quick lunch and took a twenty minute nap, and we finished on time. Evaluations were fabulous. “Best workshop I have ever attended” was a common report. It is no problem if I only have three hours of sleep. No shower, no shave, no problem. It is a minor inconvenience, but surprisingly low in impact. Life is good.

And the not-so-good-looking? I don’t need to be handsome to do the work I do. I simply have to speak from the heart, have great information, and all goes well. So it is with you. Find your calling, put your heart into it, and your life will be a wonderful adventure.

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