Many of us would become anxious or angry, which certainly does not improve the situation.
We need to be flexible. Being flexible means remaining cool headed, which allows us to problem-solve and to think of alternative actions when facing an unforeseen event. Being ready to adapt to changed circumstances invites creativity and resourcefulness.
Flexibility of attitude and action will give you the confidence to confront any situation. The simple act of remaining calm opens the possibility of maintaining a sense of humor and adventure, which increase your chances of having a positive outcome or at least an interesting experience.
For example, imagine the advantage of going to your business meeting with comfortable ease and a witty remark despite the stained shirt vs. being uncomfortably embarrassed. Or imagine the story you could tell when you are one of the few tourists who gets to experience a police station in Morocco vs. feeling panicked and overwhelmed.
Our memories of difficult situations and experiences make the best stories. If you keep calm and aware enough to observe the details and emotions while engaging the characters involved in the mishap it will make your experience that much more rewarding.
Bad situations may require that you modify your expectations. In a worst-case scenario that lacks any humor or an otherwise silver lining, being flexible means letting go and trying to gain patience, wisdom and humility, and to face the misfortune with a sense of grace.
by Dr. Alison Poulsen