I spent last Friday at Disneyland with my husband and two of my four kids. What a fun day! We crammed as much Disney as we possibly could into about seven hours. Let me tell you a little more of the story… We arrived the night before in LA ready for a quick weekend get away. My luggage however didn’t arrive so off we went in the Uber to our hotel where I requested “ the bag”. You know, the hard toothbrush, paste, odd scented deodorant, and tiny black comb kinda bag. I must say I was feeling annoyed with myself for not just carrying on a bag. I was assured my luggage would arrive by 9 am the next day. 9 am comes and goes and my son is flying in to meet us and so we need to go. I put on my jeans and shirt from the day before, brush my teeth with the bristle brush, borrow my daughters make up and throw my hair up in a pony. Sad my shorts, white shirt and tennis shoes are still in transit as it is going to be 90 degrees.
We arrive at the Magic Kingdom and I am determined to enjoy this abbreviated day of fun with my family. We quickly start hopping on rides and grabbing fast passes and walk for miles. I now have a blister on my toe because although my flip flops are oh so cute, they are not the best walking shoes. We enter “ Splash Mountain” and literally sweat to death for over an hour to be told the ride had a log jam and will be closed for the remainder of the day. Disappointed, yes! I was looking forward to being splashed by the cold water in the sweltering heat. We shrug our shoulders and walk to Indiana Jones where we had reserved our fast pass. “ Sorry folks, the ride is shut down,” says the very chipper Disney worker. We decide we are ready to leave the Magic Kingdom and head to our favorite place in Marina Del Rey for dinner. It did not disappoint, we laughed about all of our mishaps and adventures and deemed it a wonderful day!
We arrive back to the hotel, still no luggage. We take the stairs because the elevator has a sign… “Out of Order”. We burst into laughter and climb the stairs satisfied with our very fun day!
So what does my Disney day have to do with your leadership, your parenting? It’s all about perspective. The truth is we all are going to face disappointment in our life journey. Things don’t always work out the way we so meticulously plan them. The learning is this – just because there are a few bad moments doesn’t mean it is a bad day or worse a bad life. A few rides not working didn’t lessen our very happy day spent at Disneyland. Disappointment is commonplace, that however, isn’t the challenge. The challenge is how you react to disappointment. Disappointments give us opportunities to shine. They can help define us as good leaders/good parents. In fact, how well we handle disappointment can either hinder our relationships with our team/our family or can earn us respect and credibility for the challenges that will come in the future.
Here are some things to help when disappointment happens –
- Remain calm and composed so those emotions don’t rule the response.
- Look within – could your involvement (or lack of it) have prevented the situation?
- Always give the benefit of the doubt – operate in grace.
- Focus on the issue, not the person.
- Ask yourself, what can I learn from this?
- Be a leader – allow the disappointment to help you build better bonds with your family/your team.
Life is about enjoying the journey God has you on, learning to shine for Him, disappointments and all.