How Out of The Box Thinking Contributes to Success

Over the last couple months, I had a couple big opportunities to live a key concept of success.

These opportunities came when, despite my best laid plans and diligent work, life threw me curveballs.  Instances where things have not gone as expected.

And this happens – quite regularly as a matter of fact!

The interesting thing is that in each of these instances, I was able to find not only find a solution, but actually something even better than what I’d initially set out to create, because I was able to step outside the box of a rigid answer or perspective.

The first occasion had to do with a scheduled trip to NC in June. Weather raised its stormy head and I found myself grounded in Atlanta at close to midnight after several hours of waiting for our plane to arrive.

The options were looking bleak.

I could take a rebooked flight but it wouldn’t leave until 3:50 pm the next day. In the meantime, the airline wasn’t offering any compensation nor hotel vouchers. And the thought of finding a hotel at midnight was daunting. Plus I would then likely have to leave said hotel by 11 am and be stuck in the airport most of the afternoon. Ugh.

I had my new boarding pass and was pondering this ugliness when I heard several people talking about the possibility of renting a car instead and driving the 6 hours from Atlanta to Raleigh.

Hmm. A new concept. Bing went a light in my head.

The thought of driving alone at night being already exhausted didn’t seem smart so I turned to a nice looking women next to me and asked if she wanted to rent a car together. We ended up being part of a 5-person group – one of whom had miraculous access to a corporate car rental.

Though I didn’t get much sleep, I ended up getting a free ride, not having to waste a day of my trip, and even got my whole one way ticket refunded. BIG SUCCESS because I explored a thought outside of my standard “flight cancelled, get the flight rebooked” narrative

blue success.My second experience showed up around my search for a rental over the next year. I am selling my house but needed a place to stay with my son through the end of next June – not a full year.

Initially when calling places, I was asking if they had less than one year terms. While I found many, I was not excited about the size or price for the size of what I was finding.

Then one of the places said that while they didn’t have less than 1 year leases, they did have a liberal break lease policy.

Hmm. A new concept. Bing went a light in my head.

And so I went back to one of my top original choices – a space twice as large as most for the same price with private entrance and garage – and ask the different question of what would happen if I couldn’t stay in my lease the whole time?

Bingo! Not only was there no fee for breaking the lease, they were so popular that they rarely had trouble renting so even though I am liable until it is re-rented, it seemed like a good risk. Now I not only have a large space for a great price, the size and layout means I don’t have to get a separate storage unit. SUCCESS because I changed the question I was asking.

blue success

My recent experiences highlighted a couple important life reminders for me:

  • Changing the question or shifting the expectation can open up opportunities and answers in really cool ways.
  • Being flexible when life throws curve balls is way easier than getting frustrated or stressed.
  • Instead of feeling stuck, asking “how can I make this work?” is a great way to find solutions. By acknowledging there is a solution, I begin the first step to finding it.
  • Taking a chance, grounded with common sense, can yield great results.

For me this process extends to every area of life and is a powerful tool to use in enjoying a fulfilled life despite the chaos and detours along the way.

Have your own out-of-the-box thinking success stories?  Please share!

©2016, Jamie Durner, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Certified Life Coach at Abundant You Coaching in Brookfield, WI

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