By: Shelly Sobol
Have you ever had that moment of sheer panic because something you worked weeks/months on had to be scrapped… or rearranged… or changed in some fashion outside of your control? You have? Great, join the club!
Ever since my first solo Winter Guard competition in high school, my mom and I have joked that we must have been Girl Scouts in a former life, due to our ability to make do with what we have. You see, less than 30 minutes before I was set to perform we arrived at the location late even though we planned for traffic. In our frustration we locked the keys in the car.
During that time we had to rig up a new costume based on what was in my bag (including using an undergarment strap as a necklace), borrow equipment from other teammates, and change out flag silks on my competition flag. As a team, my mom and I came up with a new plan and worked it out while still giving me a few moments to practice the routine I came up with and had practiced for weeks.
At the time I was frustrated and upset at all the reasons and events that put me in that situation. But here’s the real question: did any of my alternate plans REALLY change the final outcome? The judges never knew my costume plans, my color coordination, or that I borrowed equipment. So were all of the emotions worth it? In short, no! It’s all about the final product.
A year or two later, a new instructor started at our school. One small motto from that woman, not terribly older than us, has stuck with me ever since:
It was her quote every time we complained about something silly. She’d look us dead in the eye and say, “It’s not that deep”. And we’d walk back pondering our decisions.
Nearly 15 years later, that is a quote I find myself still repeating at least weekly either to myself or a friend when they come to me for advice. In life you can waste time complaining about a situation, or you can use that time valuably to create a new plan. In her words, “life is too short to sweat the small stuff, focus on what’s important”.
Being adaptable to change is necessary in life. Things will change, it’s just a matter of how and when. So whether you’re planning a wedding, a project launch, board meeting, or even dinner with your friends Friday night… and a detail has to get changed, just roll with it. Realize that in most cases, it’s not that deep and who knows… if you’re lucky, maybe your new plan will work out even better!