“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
I was watching CNN yesterday as they reported from a neighborhood in St. Louis devastated by last weekend’s tornado. There was one person interviewed standing in front of what little remained of his house. His business was also based in his home, so everything was destroyed. And, they asked him “what are you going to do?” He had an incredible answer – “Today I calm my wife down and tomorrow we getting busy rebuilding.” In a clear, concise, matter-of-fact, and confident answer this person started looking for his rainbow.
How many times have you planned for an event that was washed out by a rainy day or a massive storm? Every one of has been through it. You cannot and do not plan for or expect bad weather to interrupt your parade. In reality, it happens a great deal. Instead of focusing on the interruption, the destruction, and the disappointment, look up and find the rainbow. There is always something better after the storm.
This past week I experienced my own version of rainfall. My extended week in Michigan started out great. I had a couple of exceptional events –presentations and meetings — until it started raining on my parade. Then, some of the things I had expected to work on got delayed, postponed, or never finalized. What had the prospects for a great business trip didn’t really pan out. Then, I let it affect the rest of my trip. While I enjoyed visiting with friends and watching my favorite softball team play, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have because I was still dwelling on the “weather.”
My house didn’t get blown over. My business didn’t get destroyed by a tornado. I really didn’t lose anything important or significant. I simply didn’t have the most productive of business trips. When I read this quote, it spoke right to me. Things may not always go the way you hope, plan or expect. It does not mean all is lost; it merely means that you need to keep looking for the opportunity that will arise from the aftermath of the storm. When things do not go the way we plan, the best thing we can do is calm down, look up and find the rainbow that is destined to come our way. When we are prepared for good things to happen, they will – just not always in our time frame or in the order we expect them to. It is the lesson I am internalizing right now – hope it helps you with something you are working on.