Life (and curveballs) happen. So what do you do about them? Get down on life?…or use them to rise up and make the day EVEN better? Here’s what I did with a surprise curveball in order to have a GREAT day…
Don’t you love those unexpected curveballs in a day?
You plan out your schedule, perfectly to a tee, and then, out of the blue, you…
- Get a flat tire
- Spill coffee on your cute blouse
- Get an unexpected email or phone call at work (not the nicest)
- Stub your toe, trip over a ledge, or cut your finger (a common occurrence in the kitchen)
- Lock your keys in the car
- Get stuck in traffic
- Pee your pants from laughing so hard…? (Anyone? Bueller?)
Monday morning grind.
Getting prepped for a busy week, when, all of a sudden, my MacBook went “on the blink”—literally.
My screen went completely black and, like a scene from Castaway, I felt completely deserted—stranded on a technology-less island, at a loss for what to do without my work lifeline (writing e-mails, responding to follow-ups, creating programs, drafting blogs, and executing plans I needed to accomplish).
The week was just getting started.
In desperation, my morning to-do list was instantly diverted, as I abandoned ship to call Apple on the phone, and spent the next hour problem solving with them and trying to get my screen to come back to life.
“Hmm…that’s odd,” the Genius employee on the other end of the line said when I told her what had happened.
“You’ll need to bring it to the store and unfortunately, we only have ONE appointment available today: 8:45 p.m.”
“I’ll take it!” I said—resolving to do whatever I had to do to get my “lifeline” back.
Curveballs have a funny way of shedding light on our values (and desperation).
We generally take action for things we deeply care about and things that bring us comfort—no matter the cost.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- If you’re on a road trip, stranded in the middle-of-nowhere-Nebraska, and running near empty on gas, for instance, you’ll stop and pay for the $10/gallon gas at the first station you see within 100 miles.
- If you’re at a baseball game and parched for water, you’ll fork over the $6/bottle to the 16-year-old concession caddy, even though you could have snuck in your $1/bottle had you thought about it.
- If you’re addicted to your daily ice cream fix or binge, no matter where your schedule leads in a given day, you know you’ll find a way to make it happen.
- Perhaps you’re obsessed over running. It is your thing. So rain or shine, snow or heat, no matter what, you’re there.
- Starbucks? Even if it’s an hour-long line, you’ll be there, waiting to get your morning cup of Joe.
- And, id your MacBook computer stops working? You’ll drop everything in order to get to the bottom of it so you can get back on schedule.
So off to the Apple store I was—after a day spent re-routing my plans without my “lifeline” at my side.
Sitting down with Joe at the Genius Bar—he, too, could not figure out WHY my computer was on the blink.
“It’s barely a year old. I’m not sure what happened…” he said. Adding, “But what I can do is…check it in and give you a new screen—basically a new machine—free of charge,” he said.
“What? This without Apple Care insurance?” I asked.
“Yes. We believe in our products and know you’ve been a customer a long time too of our products,” he said.
And at that, my laptop was checked in—en route for a makeover to become a brand new machine.
“It should be about 3-5 business days, but we will try to get it back to you as soon as possible,” another Apple team member told me—meaning work would have to take a break for the week (or I’d need to find an alternative method in the interim).
“Ok…whatever it takes I guess…if at all possible to have it back by Wednesday or Thursday that’d be great,” I said, frustrated by the curveball that was seemingly going to throw my whole week routine off.
“We’ll try our best,” he said.
Don’t think too fast.
Within an hour of dropping off the laptop, I received an email from the Apple store on my iPhone.
“You’re service request has been complete. Your item is ready for pickup.”
The next morning, I arrived to pick up my brand new machine.
“We actually ended up having a guy stay late, past closing time to complete the repair for you so you could have it this week for work,” Laura, another Apple team member said.
The whole experience got me thinking: How can I pay it forward to someone else having an “off day”?
Not only did I get a brand new laptop for a random, misfortunate event, but the one-hour turn-around time for the actual repair exceeded my original 5-day expectation.
This week is a brand new week, FULL OF OPPORTUNITY to be the “slight edge” change you wish to see in the world, for others.
How can you go out of your way this week to lift someone else up, help someone else out, or just be a BRIGHTER spot in someone else’s day?
The Apple team here in Austin turned my frown upside down with their simple touch of care about my frustrations, my misfortune and my busy schedule.
Likewise, we come in contact with people daily—in business, in life, standing in line at the grocery store, at the gym, at work, waiting for your coffee at the coffee bar, at the dog park, at the stoplight–all whom are wearing something on their sleeves. Something on their mind that you have no idea about.
We ALL have baggage.
And it can be so easy to go about our days as just passersby—without truly connecting.
I LOVE the quote:
“Be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting a battle.”
Big or small, we ALL have battles, woes and worries in our days.
How can you go out of your way to give someone else a lift in their day this week?
Need some ideas?
Here are 50 of my favorite ‘pay-it-forward’ moments to get you inspired.
50 Random Acts of Kindness
- Send a friend a text message just to let her know how much she means to you
- Call your mom and thank her for something random that sticks out to you from your childhood (a mommy lesson that makes sense now)
- Pay for the Starbucks of the person behind you in line
- Let someone else cut in front of you (in traffic, the grocery store)
- Compliment someone on their smile, their eyes, their laugh, their sense of style, their hair
- Give the homeless man on the street the lunch you made for yourself, and pick something else up on the way to work for later; or keep a snack and water bag in your car to do just that
- Clean out your closet and donate the clothes to a younger girl in your life who would love them
- Make extras at dinner and invite a friend or neighbor to join you
- Offer to drive a friend to the airport
- Bring a special breakfast treat to the front desk worker at your gym
- Write handwritten notes to new clients after their first session with you
- Call a friend on their birthday or send them a gift—instead of just Facebooking them
- Order your favorite inspiring read for your sister on Amazon with a special message attached
- Buy flowers for someone else for no reason
- Offer to wash your neighbor’s car
- Pick up a few groceries or a special treat for your friend on your way home and drop them by her house
- Bring a healthy snack or treat to work—to replace the usual cookie or brownie tray
- Leave extra time in a parking meter for the next person
- Smile at five different people today—for no reason
- Create a happiness list or book—and keep track of the little moments; Share them with others for inspiration in their own lives to look for the little things
- Send a snail mail letter to an old friend
- Offer to help a friend move or unpack
- Sign up to walk dogs at the animal shelter or for a neighbor
- Show up to a nursing home or assisted living during a meal time or activity time and connect with the people
- Tip generously
- Invest in a kid you know—take him or her to get a smoothie or do something fun in the community
- Do the thing no one else wants to do
- Stand up for an underdog
- Connect people to each other
- Respond timely—don’t procrastinate or avoid
- Share—even if you don’t want to
- Avoid gossip
- Come to the rescue of someone else in need
- Create a personalized playlist for a friend that ‘speaks’ to her
- Be super enthusiastic when others have good news; and celebrate the highs or feel the lows with others in your life—be genuine
- Stop at a kid’s lemonade stand and make a purchase
- Selflessly promote others (in public, on social media, in your friendships with them)
- Tell the person who is looking for a job about an opening or connect them with a potential lead
- Leave a surprise for the mailman in the mailbox
- Offer the plumber, painter, electrician a cold Topo Chico or La Croix
- Say thankyou—often
- Cut out an article or copy an article and send or email it to someone
- Keep an extra umbrella in your car so you can lend it when it rains
- Encourage someone to pursue her dreams
- Share over-heard compliments with someone else
- If you know a friend is stressed or going through a tough tie, think about something that could pick them up or help them out
- Help others find the positive
- Befriend a lonely person
- Hold the door for someone else
- Be kind…to yourself
Do you have any ideas?
Go out and pay it forward.
Chances are, when you get outside yourself, you get so much more back in return