Last Tuesday evening at 9:30, my mom called up with an interesting problem.
My 93 year old grandma (aka Granny) had spent the last couple weeks visiting Oregon from Colorado and was scheduled to fly back home the next morning. In order to ensure Granny had a smooth trip and made her connections, my mother was going to fly back with Granny from Portland to Salt Lake City, then from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction, where Granny’s other daughter would be waiting to take possession. After the successful “Granny transaction”, my mother would then hop on a plane to retrace her route back to Portland.
The problem was that my mother was currently suffering from a bad bout of vertigo and wasn’t in any condition to drive a car or hop on an airplane in the next 24 hours. Granny’s flight was scheduled to leave in less than 9 hours. She asked if I would be willing to fly with Granny back to Grand Junction the next morning.
This was certainly not what I thought I would be doing the next day before the phone rang. My initial reaction to the request was to think of all the things I had to do the next day, and how fulfilling this request really wasn’t possible. As a few seconds passed and I thought further, there really wasn’t anything that was so critical that it couldn’t be delegated or even wait a day until I got back. My initial thoughts quickly dissipated and I began to see this request as an unexpected opportunity for an adventure. I would always have routine work related things to do, but how often would I have the opportunity for a trip like this with my lively and spirited Granny? I said, “Yes”. I’m so glad I did! Not only did we make a lot of memories, we had a great time.
Sometimes our initial reaction to a new request or opportunity is to quickly determine why it won’t work or why we “can’t” do it. I think this type of reaction serves only as a factory to crank out lame excuses to keep us from venturing outside of our comfort zone. How can we ever expect to have new and memorable experiences if we think no further than our initial reaction telling us why something can’t be done?
Start recognizing this initial reaction in you when you’re presented with a new adventure or opportunity, and begin to think in terms of “why not?” and say, “Yes!” to these opportunities as often as you can. Not only will you have fun making memories and experiencing new adventures, you’ll have a more exciting and interesting life as well.