How would you like to be delayed by 8 hours on a train?
I’m guessing not so much.
Today however, I’ve got a little story about how that exact thing turned out to be the highlight of someone’s year. It sounds made up, so I’ve included a photo of em just to prove it really happened!
A good friend of mine travels from London to Rotterdam once a week for work.
(We shall call said friend Julio. It isn’t his name, but I feel it makes the story more exotic, and by association me seem more interesting)
Last week Julio sat down on his usual Eurostar back to St Pancras, tired after a long couple of days and looking forward to getting home.
An hour into his journey however, the train pulled up. They sat for a whole hour without any updates, before being told the train they were on would need to be towed back to Rotterdam, then wait for a replacement train to take them back to London.
Well, as it turns out, no.
See, Julio was lucky enough to be sat opposite a lovely lady from Northern Ireland, who he at first described as “crazy” in a message to me.
She was completely unperturbed by the delay, and ordered a bottle of wine for Julio and two other strangers around their table to share. This lady’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious, so much so that by the time they’d made it back to Rotterdam the invitation to have dinner together while they waited for a replacement train wasn’t forward – it was a no brainer!
By the time the four of them boarded their replacement train, they were in high spirits (admittedly helped along by a few bottles of wine) and it struck Julio how miserable the other passengers on their carriage seemed.
It’s important that you understand Julio isn’t normally the perkiest of people – any other day he would probably have been walking round under his own little raincloud at this point, aggrieved at the delay and generally grouchy about the state of the world!
However on this occasion, he had an absolute blast and arrived into St Pancras 8 hours late, having shared an amazing experience with three new friends, and having had, in his own words, “the best day of his year!”
See, it’s easy to dismiss clichés like “life is what you make of it” as corny, but I find more often than not they exist…because they’re true.
The outcome of an event is decided not by the event itself, but by our reaction to it…
…really let that one sink in.
The outcome of an event is decided not by the event itself, but by our reaction to it.
It’s on YOU. No-one else.
It is so important to take ownership of your life – your behaviours, your achievements, your mistakes, all of it.
If you take ownership of everything, then everything will always be within your control.
And when you’re in control of everything, you have the power to change everything.
Answer this honestly: how would you have reacted to an 8 hour delay?
Are there any other areas of your life where you could change your response, and change the outcome?
Something worth pondering I reckon.
Ian “exotic by association” Male