Do you ever feel vulnerable?  I know I do.  It feels like a mix of excitement, anxiousness and makes me a bit nervous. My 12 year old refers to that feeling as” nervcited”! (Don’t you just love her clarity?)

I know for many years, even hearing the word “vulnerable” set my stomach awhirl, my pulse racing and I had an instantaneous desire to dash from the room, the conversation and even the building.  Seriously!

And to this day, I choose to prepare “to be” vulnerable.  I guess you can consider me vulnerable with the idea of vulnerability.   ;’)

So many of us are not comfortable with the idea of vulnerability let alone allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  Maybe it is because we have been made fun of, picked on, laughed at, or any number of other harmful actions and reactions humans can lob at another.  Every one of us has had more than our share of those times.  I can relate.  I was that very over weight, bucktoothed smart kid that was picked last for intramural sports – I get it!

So why my focus on this topic?  Why is my stomach a bit awhirl even writing about this (and maybe yours is too)?

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So, most of us have heard the expression, “There are 2 seasons – winter and construction!” For those of us that live in the northern United States where the winters can be long, cold and snowy, we know this all too well. So why am I writing about construction? Well, actually, I’m writing about road construction. It’s a story of reframing your perspective.

Construction Blues

It’s exciting when you take a road trip to visit relatives, national monuments or just to get away from your normal, everyday life. Then, on your way you hit…road construction!

I think I just heard many of you let out a sigh.

We all experience that exasperation when you’re eager to get somewhere and you get held up or slowed down by not one but many incidences of road construction. Like many of you, I am a driver that gets more than a bit anxious, annoyed and put out when I am held up in construction traffic.

However, recently my 12 year old provided me a great reframe for the hidden opportunity so many of us frustrated drivers are passing up (pun intended…). It came in a very gentle and joyful way. So true to her joyous and open heart, she illustrated a new way of “doing road construction.”

We were driving on one of only two 2 small roads that cross our town of 50,000. The roads when not under construction are a local route for those avoiding the stopped traffic on the byway. Well, this road has been under construction for over a year now and drivers experience continual delays. I took this route in hopes of saving some time by avoiding, well you guessed it – traffic.

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Welcome back to Part 3 of The 3 Keys to Understanding Success.

I hope you are finding the first two keys helpful and that you are growing in your understanding of SUCCESS.

Last week, in the 2nd key, the idea of contribution and how that relates to our feelings of “SUCCESS” was discussed. I defined contribution as the ability to be of service to others, to be of positive impact and to add value to another.

So who did you contribute to this past week? Your family, your friends, your community?

Where do you make your impact? Locally? Globally? On-line? At work? At home?

How did it make you feel? I bet it felt good to be doing something for someone else and focusing outside of yourself. And

And by now, I bet many of you have figured out the concept of SUCCESS isn’t necessarily a specific thing or event but rather the feelings and intangible satisfaction you feel and receive. Success is more than a plaque for your wall, the title on the door, or the number of likes on Facebook.

And that sense or feeling leads us right into the third and final key to understanding success – Joy and Happiness.

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Well, my 11-year-old stepdaughter’s magic worked.   It’s a snow day!

She completed the snow day ritual – flushing the mandatory ice cube down the toilet, putting her pajamas on inside out and putting a spoon under her pillow. She and all of her friends are so delighted! I remember that eagerly awaited anticipation of getting a snow day, the chance to “break the rules” and not go to school. Remember how much fun we had? Getting up late, eating pancakes, playing in the snow, and breaking from our normal routine. Remember how recharged we felt?

How do we lose that wonder as we grow up? Or maybe you haven’t? If not, good for you!

Let’s look at why a snow day was so much fun and such a good opportunity to change the pace of life. As mature adults, we have often established time-tight schedules and routines to fit everything we need to do into a day. While our first reaction to a snow day could be, “Oh no, there goes the schedule,” that is exactly what we need to think.   “Yes!  There goes the schedule!”

When our schedules are tightly constructed, any little change can throw us off course for the day. So let’s reframe a snow day from one of unexpected changes in things we cannot control to one of making the most of an unexpected situation. Let’s embrace the opportunity. Why not fully enjoy the opportunity for renewed energy, laughter, fun, frolic and joy.

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