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Write, Think, and Be Merry by Dave LaRue

December 17, 2019

Write, Think, and Be Merry by Dave LaRue

This time of year is one of my favorite times to say I love you, tell people how special they are to me, hug my wife, hug my kids and grandkids—and anyone else near and dear who needs or wants one. It's also one of my favorite times to take inventory on what I got done and what I didn't, slow down, pay attention, take notice, and be present. 

I find myself today doing just that in the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, California. I'm hanging out in the lobby with one of my favorite people. I came down from my room with the urge to write, think, and to be merry. I'm smiling, making conversation with guests and staff milling around and working around me, loving the energy, and feeling very comfortable in my own company. That's right! I forgot to tell you: I'm by myself! One of my best buddies and business partners was supposed to be here with me, but he had to stay in England to attend to one of our investments. So I'm down in the lobby, solo. 

It's taken me many years of just living life to be comfortable in situations like this—to be alone when others are watching. One of the keys to a happy, fulfilled life is loving yourself and being comfortable in your skin. True happiness starts from the inside and works its way out. I'd heard all these things before, but I feel the truth of these sentiments on a whole new level as I people-watch here in the lobby. 

And as I watch, I see relationships happening. Both personal and professional. Hotel lobbies are some of the best places to witness the flow of energy in relationships from the outside. I'm eagerly, curiously watching people come and go, wondering what their stories are. Some people move slowly. Others zip by at a much faster pace. Some people draw my attention right away, while others seem almost trying not to be noticed. And others like me are just taking it all in. 

I could have chosen not to sit in the lobby by myself for a bunch of different reasons: not wanting to sit alone, worrying what others would think about me, taking the path of least resistance and staying in my room. What would your reasons have been in a similar situation? What would have caused you to miss this wonderful show?

I know I love to say, "why not?" I also love to say, "I'm in!" But, come to think of it, I usually only say those things when there are other people around. So today, I said it to me. What a great reminder that whether you're with others or by yourself, get up and live your life! It makes me smile when I have one of those clarity moments. 

This experience makes me think about the importance of attitude. Facts are facts. But how you choose to see those facts, how you choose to react to them, and how you choose to think about things afterward are all up to you. And this makes the difference between success and not in as many ways as there are situations.

I'm sure you've faced a letdown or a failure. You may have had to make sense of not being hired, chosen, accepted, or selected for the "A" team. Whatever the case, you thought for a while that you would get it. But you do not have that job, that contract, or that friend. You are not on the "A" team.

This is all true without any effort on your part. But making sense of it is not automatic. Not if you're trying to have a happy, successful life. Our immediate reactions don't come from the part of ourselves that cares about tomorrow. It's a short-term move to take the automatic approach and react with an attitude that says, "This is unfair. I belong there. I'm better than half of the team. They're just friends with the coach," and so on. 

This attitude leads down a very unhealthy path that leads to frustration, disappointment, sadness, and, eventually, into the deep and never-empty pool of reasons why you should quit. 

This negative attitude may do the job of giving you something snappy to say in the moment. It might even convince you that the situation that didn't work out wasn't as good as you'd thought it was. Maybe. But it will almost certainly blind you to the opportunities and potential of the situation as it is. 

You now have the chance to be a star on the "B" team. You have the motivation and an opportunity to develop your skills, make new friends, participate in other sports and even be a great fan for the "A" team. With the right attitude you will be able to see the new possibilities and let them take you to your next level of growth and personal satisfaction. And knowing that you're making progress to the next level isn't a consolation prize. It's the truth, and it's the point. 

Learning from your disappointments is a powerful source for future successes. Learn to embrace them. Learn from them and let them propel you to new levels of success and happiness. 

Attitude all comes back to the questions they inspire us to ask ourselves. Questions like: What do I want to give or receive from this experience? How does this help me? How can I help? Why? Your answers will always lead you to your highest values. For me, my answer is often, "I want to make a difference." Having this attitude gives me the energy to be present, the desire to pay attention, and the self-awareness of how I can play in this situation. Your answer will do the same for you. 

I hope you've had a happy year full of success, opportunities, and great relationships. I'm here if there's anything I can do to help. I hope the rest of your 2019 is relaxing and rewarding and that 2020 is your best year yet. 

Cheers!

Dave