Be Prepared for Inconvenience

Unexpected time at the mechanic

Life is full of surprises. Sometimes they are not convenient; that does not mean, however, that they are “bad”. Inconvenience can create opportunity. I had one such experience today, and I felt it worthwhile to share.

I went to the mechanic for an oil change that should have taken less than 90 minutes. While waiting, I was informed that I had a broken caliper on the driver’s side, and it was leaking break fluid, he took me to the garage and showed it to me.

This was not convenient.

But that does not mean it was “bad”. Well, the expense was bad, of course; but the experience was not.

I had come prepared. I had a book to study, my day planner, and photos/items to upload to eBay. I was able to spend a great deal of time on all of them, and my afternoon became useful rather than being wasted. Not only to did I complete a full second reading of the text in question to annotate specific passages, but I was also able to get items into my planner for the entire month, after which I uploaded the aforementioned photos. I had been waylaid; my afternoon plans were ruined. The time, however, was not lost.

Moral of the story: be prepared for inconvenience.

  1. If you are going somewhere wherein your timetable is dependent on others, have things to accomplish in my mind and be prepared to do them, should the opportunity arise. Had I not had so many things ready on my platter, I would have had a much more frustrating day, and I would still have a great deal of things to do.
  2. That in mind, get things done before having fun. I could have very easily spent time hunting on the bay, surfing social media, or chasing rabbit holes online during this time; but rather than do so, I dove into tasks and tackled page after page, date after date, and photo after photo until I went as far as reasonable, getting things done to the degree I knew I could. I then felt comfortable giving myself a break to do whatever arose, whether that was conversing with the staff or letting my mind spend a few minutes focusing on the TV in the office. Granted, I would not recommend completing tasks at the expense of engaging people, but I think that if most of us were honest with ourselves, we would admit that we have no intent to evangelize or make friends during inconvenient times; we would rather get lost on our phones and become numb to our surroundings. Therefore, see point number one.
  3. Finally, if you find yourself in a situation wherein an inconvenient development and taken the opportunity to accomplish things, then celebrate what you were able to do and be grateful.  Your day had the potential to be “ruined” ; your frustrations could have driven of your attitude into bitterness, resentment, or any other number of negative emotions. Instead, you were able to control your feelings, leverage the inconvenience for your success, and ultimately make the best of the situation.

That’s how you win the day.