Attitude is all

Here’s a tale of attitude making all the difference to a situation.  We’re on our annual “worliday” – not a holiday, but a break in the sun to shorten the winter.  After a pre-breakfast swim, we work on our laptops for half the day, then swim in the warm sea, play the tourist, and generally chill for the other half.  This year, like last, it’s Lanzarote.

So, we arrived, all excited to reach the apartment complex – this year we pushed the boat out and got one on the seafront, with a sea view.  And we were shown to our apartment – right next to the cavernous reception, and with a sea view.  Well, sort of: straight ahead was the back of the sister hotel, to the right was the car-park, and to the right, through the palm trees, was a glimpse of the sea.  Hmmm …

So I went back to reception.  “We were hoping for a bit better sea view,” I said, frostily, “and a bit higher up, please.”  After some searching through the reservation records, the desk clerk concluded that yes, he could offer us a better apartment, but it wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours.  No problem, we said, we’ll go off and grab some lunch.

At 2:30 we finally got to check in to our apartment – nice sea view, a bit of a walk from reception, but nice and quiet.  While Daniela unpacked, I went off to the hire car to retrieve the laptops – I needed to check my emails, hoping for one with a time to call a client discuss his rather overdue consultancy bill.  No internet!  Now, because this was always going to be a worliday, one of the things I did was to get them to confirm that there was WiFi in all the apartments.  After a little discussion, I told Daniela that internet was essential, and sorry, we were going to have to move.

Back at reception, with my dudgeon distinctly elevated, I must admit I gave the poor receptionist a bit of a hard time.  She’d already told me that the connection was a little dodgy in the apartments furthest from reception, so I wasn’t quite sure why she thought waiting for an engineer in the morning was going to fix it without changing the infrastructure.  After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing she offered me the best alternative available – back to the first apartment!  Well, I thought at least it has WiFi, so a slightly disappointed Daniela and I re-packed and moved all our stuff over to the first apartment.

Fast forward to 11:30pm.  Remember I said the apartment was just off the cavernous reception?  Well, the atrium stretched right from the ground floor to the 5th floor.  We were on floor 3.  The bar was on floor 1, right below us – and the “entertainment” had started at 9pm and was still going strong.  The open doors of the bar allowed the sound to echo straight up the atrium to our bedroom window – and on the other side the open bar windows allowed it to flow straight in the other end of the apartment!  At 11:30 I put some shoes on and marched over to reception to ask what time the noise would end.  “Oh, around midnight,” was the glib response, “it’s always around midnight, maybe a bit later!” Aargh!

That all sounds like a bit of a whinge doesn’t it?  Well, that was how I was feeling – grumpy, disillusioned, generally put-upon.  And a bit guilty.  You see, it was me that had said we should go for somewhere on the seafront in the first place – where we knew it wouldn’t be so quiet as where we’d been previously.  And then it was me that had insisted we change apartment, so I wouldn’t have to take the laptop to reception to synchronise files from time to time.  So I’d put the holiday part of our worliday in jeopardy.  And my attitude had reflected that.

Next morning, we decided OK, it’s not great, but we’re going to make the most of it – if we have to sleep with ear-plugs, so be it.  We’ll still have a great time during the day, swimming in the sea and getting some work done.  After a lovely breakfast, I said let’s just ask at reception to see if there might be another apartment available.  The lady at reception took ages looking at various files, and clicking away at buttons on her computer.  I was about to get irritated, and put some pressure on her, but I thought no – if there’s an apartment available that’s great, if not we’ll still be OK.

That’s when Daniela quietly asked: “What else is possible?”  And the receptionist looked up with a smile and said the words that were to make our break: “I can move you to number 530, but I’m not certain about the internet … could you take this key and check it with your computer?”

So off I toddled with my Android – it has a great WiFi Analyzer app that lets you check access easily – up to apartment 530. Top floor, quiet side of the complex, even better sea view than the first one.  And, yes, great internet, even better than the other one.  Truly the best of both worlds.  We’ll take it!

So what has this experience got to do with Focus.  Well, you get what you focus on.  Not Law of Attraction magic style, but how you are viewing things will affect how others react to you.  On arrival, I’d been focused on “this is not right, I demand something better”; the next morning I was focused on “we can make this work, what else is possible”.  I simply said we found it rather noisy, would it be possible to move; the previous day’s attitude would have been that it was unacceptably noisy, you must move me.

Day 1’s attitude was ‘you are wrong, you are not aligning with me’; day 2’s attitude was ‘there is nothing wrong with you, I’m the one out of alignment with the situation here, can you help me’.  And just look at the different outcomes.

I’ve been doing this stuff for long enough now – you’d have thought I’d have known better!

About Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw
About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw