Before I left for Germany, my Dad gave me some advice that has stuck with me ever since. Saying our last goodbyes before going through security, he said “Kyle, if something doesn’t work out the way you had planned it and you find yourself in an uncomfortable or unusual situation, just smile. Tomorrow it’ll be a great story.”
“Yeah, okay Dad…”
It took a few missed trains and stressful situations to realize the value behind his advice. No matter the severity of any issue I faced, the outcome was always the same. Everything worked out and I walked away with a story that starts with “Remember when…”.
From my experience of taking a step back and handling sticky situations with a smile, I’ve come to the conclusion that how people handle stress is a direct representation of their character. By all means, I am not saying that we shouldn’t have stress in our lives. But what I am saying that is there is a proper way to go about it.
Don’t criticize or complain. Guess what, your attitude is contagious and by scowling or arguing, your peers will do the same. Chances are you will put yourself in a funk where you just hate life. But you don’t hate life, do you? Of course not! The happier you are, the happier you can make the people around you….. see, it’s all full circle here.
Try not to place your stress superior to others. By doing so, you loose the humility and genuineness that makes you likable. Be a good listener to your peers and encourage them to talk about themselves. By taking part in an engaging conversation and talking in the terms of the other person’s interests, you have created a feeling of importance in that person. If this person feels that you have a sincere appreciation and understanding of their issues, chances are they will take the time to understand yours as well.
This doesn’t pertain to this blog, but use the name of the person you are talking to. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language :). Kyle Piercy –> I just tickled my own fancy.
OK, back to the topic. With great risk comes greater reward. But I’m going to do something bold and substitute the word risk with uncertainty…. crazy, right? If you find yourself in unclear and unusual situations the opportunity for adventures arise. By stressing about not understanding the immediate outcome of a decision creates an apprehension against experiencing what lies ahead of you. You loose all the potential that you have created and find yourself stuck in the mud. The reward is connecting with new people and embracing new memories that can only be established through your confidence that everything will work out. I may ramble on and on about this, but I’m a firm believer.
I wish my father shared this advice with me much earlier as it has been pertinent to many aspects of my life. Through this mindset, you avoid growing up fast and live one day at a time.