What My Daughter Told Me When I Got Home Gave Me Chills
10-26-2015 at 11:16 AM
Category: Business

Ahhh, the fall season. There is a crispness in the air, different colors on the trees, and the State Fair comes to town. This is a really special time for my family, my daughter in particular. As a tween, it won’t be long before she will want to go to the fair with her friends instead of me. That’s okay. It’s part of growing up. So with great anticipation, we chose the day we would be going and talked about the rides we would experience together. She would get the giggles and I would get the massive nausea due to motion sickness. Oh, the things we endure for our children…

This year was a little different. We had an unexpected visit to the vet with our cat. The bill was higher than I expected which put a strain on the budget for this month. Unfortunately, as the day came to go to the fair, I looked at our finances and saw that it would be highly unwise to go. We just didn’t have enough cash flow to make it work. The morning we were to go, I told my daughter the bad news.

How do you handle disappointment? Do you huff and puff? Do you pout? Does your stomach ache with the knowledge that a once a year experience is gone and there is nothing you can do about it? My daughter’s reaction was no different than mine when I was her age. She tried to rationalize, compromise, and offer alternate plans to try to change my mind. Then came the disappointed tears. She went and plopped herself on the couch and sat quietly.

It hurt me to have to tell her this and see her reaction. I knew how much she wanted to go. We have a great time together. That’s what she loves most; what we do together.

My wife and I walked down to the mailbox, leaving our daughter to get going on her morning routine. We were gone for less than 10 minutes. When we returned, my daughter said something to me that gave me chills.

“Daddy, if we can’t go to the fair, then we will bring the fair to us!”

For the next few minutes, she outlined the different games and things we would have at our “fair.” I loved her creativity so much, I jumped in and began planning some games and attractions.

We began to put it together, decorating different parts of the house for all the attractions: the fair food, Nerf gun shooting gallery, music venue, fun house and more. She then made tickets for each attraction. We spent the afternoon having a great time at our fair, laughing and making memories.

What gave me chills was how quickly my daughter had changed her attitude. When faced with a disappointment, she chose to find an alternative and focus on something positive. Her determination to enjoy the day helped to solidify a very important principle in life:
Life is about choices. There is great power in our ability to choose. No matter the circumstance, we can choose how we will think and respond to life.

She made a very wise choice.


Jeff Orr is a Personal Leadership Coach to Executives and Business Owners, Author, and Transformational Speaker. Through his coaching company, InDemand Leadership, Jeff empowers his clients to experience internal growth which then translates into sustainable external success. A dynamic and energizing speaker to corporations and groups, Jeff engages his audience through humor, real world stories, and a genuine care for the people he speaks to, helping them to build lasting success internally and externally. He is also author of the highly acclaimed book, Succeed In The New Normal.

Keywords: disappointment, life lessons, attitude, changing attitudes
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