Funny motivational speaker
It was 1am, my stomach was growling, my dry, tired eyes burned, and my muscles ached from work and travel. It was my fourth and final speaking engagement of the week. A canceled flight due to mechanical problems resulted in a missed connection. Now, at the Delta customer service desk, I was seeking my complimentary hotel room. Exhausted, I looked forward to a hot shower and a soft bed. Then the customer service representative said,
“I am sorry, but we have no hotel rooms left to give you.”
Squeezing back the tears, I frantically called my husband Steve yelling. “Help me find a hotel room!”
After thirty minutes and eighteen calls to hotels, we found there were no rooms, nowhere in Atlanta.
So, I wouldn’t sleep in a luxurious hotel suite on Myrtle Beach. I wouldn’t eat a sumptuous breakfast at the resort. I wouldn’t take a morning stroll along the beach and arrive, well-rested, for my keynote scheduled at noon. Instead, I’d arrive seventy-five minutes before my presentation. I’d dress and apply makeup in a public bathroom. Instead, I’d spend the night sleeping on a bench in the Atlanta airport.
I want to report that I maintained my positive attitude throughout this inconvenience.
I did text my husband Steve, several versions of
“Enjoy your soft bed while I sleep on a hard airport bench.”
“It must be nice being you, jerk. “
“I quit. I am running away. Don’t try to find me.”
Angry texts didn’t release my built-up anger and exhaustion. Instead, my venting made me even madder. Griping did not help or change my situation. I would spend the night in the airport terminal. I had to speak in thirteen hours, and no amount of complaining would change this fact.
Complaining felt good, but playing the victim would get me nowhere. Realizing this, I made the mental pivot to focus on how to make the best out of this inconvenient situation.
Googling “Sleeping in the Atlanta airport” on my iPhone, I found a blog entitled “How to sleep in the Atlanta airport.” The writer referred me to terminals that had chairs to stretch out on and gave me helpful tips to make the night more comfortable.
I took a train to the terminal F and found three chairs without armrests that allowed me to stretch out to sleep. I used my event dress as a blanket, my purse as a pillow, and wore my sunglasses to block the fluorescent lights. It was an uncomfortable night. After a few hours of sleep, I cleaned up, dressed, and applied my make up in the airport bathroom. Best of all, I arrived at the venue in time to give a kick-butt keynote to a fantastic audience.
My success came from being mentally flexible.
Mental flexibility allows you to respond effectively to new and problematic situations and enables you to switch from non-practical to practical thinking. A flexible mindset will empower you to solve problems in new ways.
One month later, after a grueling week of speaking, mechanical difficulties caused me to miss another flight. This time, I had to sleep in the Salt Lake City airport. While my fellow passengers grumbled and complained, I quickly sought out a bench, made my bed, and slept in it. Again, I made it to the venue in time, gave a kick-butt performance to a fantastic audience.
Lessons learned. I have a choice.