Yesterday I flew from Indianapolis to Atlanta and on to Austin. While I was grumbling about the weird connections and worrying about the repercussions of the power outage in Atlanta, my row mate on the flight was having a different experience. She was excited to be flying! I didn’t have a chance to talk to her as we had another individual sitting between us, but her experience was noticeably different from mine. I was making a choice to worry and be a little frustrated. She was experiencing pure joy.
My initial thought was a little smug. An amateur traveler for the holidays. When I got out of my own thoughts and saw what I was doing, I decided to look at things differently. She was smiling and dancing to the music she was playing through her headphones. She was singing to herself, although the headphones made it a more of a community singing experience. She was just fun to observe, and I could sense her energy. She was also respectful of everyone. She said please and thank you and was sincere about it. She treated everyone politely.
I was embarrassed by the judgmental thoughts I had. Then I realized that I had skillfully caught myself doing an unskillful thing. I corrected the way of thinking. It’s a choice. Our thoughts, lead to words, our words lead to actions. Did I act unskillfully? No, but I had the unskillful thoughts.
Today I sat with a group or of personal trainers and membership team members for a health and lifestyle facility near my home. A friend of mine is one of the owners and I want them to be a success. I had joined the facility and love working out there. I had some thoughts on how they can create long term relationships and wanted to share it with them and they graciously offered to put a meeting together. On the way to the meeting I spoke to my son who has done personal training in the past. I asked him how he trained his team to engage with the client. He shared that they need to understand the client’s goals, and not project their goals on the client. He shared that the trainer may think the person needs to lose 70 pounds, but the client may have a goal to lose 20 pounds to get back to their college weight. Understanding the client needs is critical to helping them achieve their goals, long term.
As I thought back on the initial judgment that I had about my row mate on my flight, I thought that I was projecting my ideas on to her. I felt everyone should be a little grumpy after a long day of working and a long flight home. I projected my negativity onto a very happy young lady. I was wrong.
In our dealings with customers, do we do the same thing? Do we project our fears onto them? My pricing is too high. My offering isn’t good enough. I won’t get this order. It won’t come in this month. Do we create barriers?
I share stories of my mistakes in hopes it helps others not make the same mistakes. I believe we create our own environment and we choose to see things as we want to. It is a choice. If we choose to see challenges, that is what we find. If we choose to see success. Really choose to see success, that is what we create.
If I choose to see an amateur traveler and believe that she will have a negative affect on my flight, she will. I’m happy to say I woke up to my poor choice and enjoyed the flight with someone who saw it as fun. Pure joy! I’m still learning.