How To Thrive When The Unexpected Happens
Post written by Peter G. James Sinclair.
It was a windy day. Perfect for kite flying. All the neighbors seemed to come out to watch the event, and it wasn’t long before the new ‘aeronautically engineered apparatus of flight ingenuity’ was launched on its maiden voyage.
As my friend David, who was holding the kite, ran the length of the park; he let out more and more string. It seemed to take a very short time before the large kite appeared as a speck in the sky. The string and the kite were swallowed up by the wind, like a milkshake being sucked up through a straw.
Once he had reached the edge of the park, the entire group of onlookers stood up against someone’s fence totally entranced by the majesty of height that had been achieved by such a slight structure.
John, our next door neighbor, asked, ‘Can I have a hold of the kite?’ He was the same age as David, so even though none of us ‘little kids’ would have ever been allowed to hold the string, he was in for a chance.
To this day, I can’t recall what exactly happened next. All I remember is that there was a point in the exchange when the string left both of their hands simultaneously.
We were all stunned as we watched the string ball; wrapped firmly around a piece of wood, dance across the park. It was dragged along at an incredibly fast speed by the kite that was now even a smaller speck in the sky than before.
What a site it must have been as a dozen kids were seen running, screaming and yelling across the park in pursuit of a piece of skipping wood. Not even the fastest runner in our school, and that was David, had a chance of catching it. The wind was too strong, the kite too high, and the bouncing apparatus had had a clear head start before any of us could make chase.
The rest of the afternoon was spent unraveling the string from tree branches, power lines, and roofs of houses, up and over wooden fences and across roads. Finally the damaged kite was recovered from someone’s backyard. Fortunately it hadn’t been the cranky man’s backyard; the one who liked collecting kid’s soccer balls for a hobby. I could just imagine the sneer on his face as he tried to fish a kite out of one of his trees.
This event certainly took the wind out of our sails for kite flying. The next time I flew a kite, I bought a ready made one, but I was always sure that I flew it in the wide open spaces, far away from power lines and people’s backyards.
So what did we learn from the flight of the kite?
1. Your Height Determines Your Sight
In everything you do choose to take the eagle view. Look down on your circumstances and don’t ever allow yourself to suffer ‘under the circumstances’. Circumstances were never made to be ‘under’. They were created to be ‘above’. Think of the kite when the pressure rises. Stand back from your circumstances and gain a fresh perspective. Look at it creatively by brainstorming until you come up with an answer to solve the problem. Turn your disadvantage into an advantage. Problems were created to be solved.
2. Don’t Let Go
Hang on tight to your dream. Don’t let it go. Stay focused on your goals. They are the string, and the kite is your dream. Don’t pass it to another, because they won’t have the same vision that you have. Share the moment with them, but don’t let go of your individual dream.
3. Choose Your Space Well
Set yourself up for a win by positioning yourself correctly. Research is vital at this point. Don’t just plunge ahead. Get the facts and stick with them. Be a detective and learn to make investigation your key weapon for success. Ask questions. Delve deep. Get input. Surround yourself with wise counselors. Be one of the informed so that you can make successful decisions.
4. Prepare For The Unexpected
Have a contingency plan in place. Develop a range of income sources. In your specialization diversify. Those who plan for the unexpected will not be surprised. They’ll be ready. This is why we have insurance. This is why we plan in advance. This is why we are ready to adapt and swerve. This is why we don’t leave things to the last moment, and by doing so we are ever ready to succeed. For any enterprise is built by wise planning.
So there you have it. Simple, yet powerful principles learnt that day when the kite got away, and as we spent the rest of the day unraveling the disaster.
The secret though is to always seek to learn from the mistakes that are made along the way. They can, at times, be your greatest teacher, if you are willing to learn.
Without problems there would never be a need for solutions, and without mistakes there would never be a reason for lessons learnt.