Today something happened that has never happened before – I missed a flight. Heading to Alicante with two of my sisters and my 6 month old nephew for a few days relaxation in the sun, baby Jack had something of a bathroom malfunction resulting in us arriving at the gate 12 minutes after the gate closed and after our bags had been removed from the aircraft. Absolutely efficiency from a budget airline – who’d have thought it!
We checked that there was absolutely nothing we could do and headed back to the start, rebooked a flight for later that afternoon, and went for a cuppa. And we sat down and laughed. Quite a lot. Now I know a lot of people who would have made a real fuss at this point, and would have wasted a whole load of energy on complaining, or blaming each other, and would have let it spoil their trip. Not for us, we were almost hysterical with how entertained we were by the whole situation, and it’s given us a good story to tell.
It reminded me of one of the more important lessons I learnt in relation to coaching – identify the things that you can’t control, and put them to one side. There is nothing to be gained from focussing on what has happened when what you need is to find a solution to where you are now.
That’s not to say that there isn’t value in reflecting on what went wrong to make sure learning is captured – I very much doubt we’ll find ourselves in the same situation again (famous last words) – but to deal with the here and now I strongly believe in staying calm and remembering Timon and Pumba’s wise words ‘Hakuna Matata’.
And unexpected experiences bring unexpected upsides. We have checked out the security process at Gatwick North and South terminals all in one day (South wins), and the second time round we’ve found time to visit the Prosecco bar while waiting for our gate number. Cheers.