There’s a book I read to my kids: it’s called A Tale of Two Beasts. It’s a story about perspective.
The first story comes from the viewpoint of a little girl who finds this little animal in the woods, and she takes him home, and plays with him, shows him off to her friends, etc. Then, midway through the book, it flips to his point of view. The little animal tells his side of the story through a different set of lenses by explaining the same experience as the little girls; only his perception is of the little girl kidnapping him and forcibly keeping him.
This book challenges how I examine my life, and it made me think about our recent family trip.
Recently my wife Brandi and I were able to take our two oldest children (Skye and Raine) to Disney World in Orlando.
The trip was fantastic, but if I were to give you all the facts and events of the journey at face value, people could come to different conclusions of how the trip went.
The same story can change depending on perspective and attitude
I think the story of our business could be viewed through the same lens as my Disney trip because it is also filled with highs and lows.
Our Disney experience was a family trip, not a vacation. There’s a difference. A family trip is typically a lot of work, and I did not relax (and neither did my wife). A vacation is relaxing. That said, I don’t regret it. It was incredible because of all the great memories we made with our kids. I’d do it again, but it was busy, chaotic, and stressful trying to keep up with all the activity.
Now in light of both the good and the bad of the trip, you could reach two different viewpoints of how the trip went.
There were lots of down moments on the trip
Although it’s named The Happiest Place on Earth, there were lots of moments of the trip that weren’t happy.
We had issues with missing luggage, our son vomiting at night, and then being sick with diarrhea as well.
Then on day three, our daughter became ill with a 103-degree fever, congestion and a nasty cough.
My wife, a nurse, persisted with pumping every three hours the entire trip for the benefit of our seven month old.
Once our daughter got some Tylenol and Ibuprofen, we triumphed through the trial! And she did so with a fantastic attitude, to say the least!
The best moment
There are countless moments of things that went right or wrong, but I’m going to give the one that sticks most in my mind.
We went to the Magic Kingdom Park for our third day, and to wrap up the day, we wanted to watch the fireworks.
I was also a pack mule for this one particular event. I was carrying our family backpack on my back complete with all our stuff which probably weighed around forty pounds. And because I wasn’t getting enough of a workout, I decided to put both of my kids on my shoulders so they could see. Being six and four, they couldn’t see past all the tall spectators.
My son wants to see, so I pick him up and place him on my shoulder. Then my daughter wants to see, so I pick her up and place her on my other shoulder. In the end, I’ve got both kids on my shoulders, plus our bags which totaled around 130 pounds. And I had to maintain this for at least fifteen minutes because this is how long the show lasts.
You’d think with all the exercise I got; I would have lost weight. Nope, Disney is magical that way.
In spite of all of those hindrances, I’m not going to regret the trip or my insane shoulder workout. The trip was fantastic because of all the wonderful memories we made. The look on their faces during the fireworks was priceless. I’ll never forget it.
I was glad I was able to do it, and I’m grateful I am tall enough that the kids could see everything when I was holding them. At the time, my shoulders were killing me, but looking back, I laugh at the situation. Thirty years from now, I’ll look back at the legacy I built by enduring a little inconvenience.
Now I could grumble about all the shortcomings we experienced, but I’d rather focus on how fortunate we are.
We were in the financial position to take our kids to Disney World. Brandi was able to pump for our youngest daughter successfully. My father-in-law did an excellent job watching our youngest two back home. So much to be thankful for.
Remember the positives
Knowing what you now know of the struggles we had on this trip, you wouldn’t believe it from how I presented the story on social media.
A lot of people might be surprised I didn’t include both perspectives, but I realized no one wanted to see me whine about every awful thing that happened on the trip.
In spite of all the things that were wrong, I know these are the memories we will look back and cherish. The kids handled fewer hours of sleep than normal, we were able to enjoy all four theme parks, and we didn’t miss our flight.
I chose to remember the positives of my experiences rather than the negatives because it’s all perspective.
The reality is, everyone gets a flat tire. Everyone’s car breaks down at one point or another. Everyone has unexpected medical things that come up. If I spend all my time dwelling on every bad thing that’s ever happened to me, I wouldn’t be able to move forward with my life.
When it comes to the story of founding BNG, our business story usually receives two reactions. Either we are the most blessed and luckiest guys alive, or we’ve been screwed over and had the worst experiences imaginable.
The same story based on facts can change dramatically, just depends on my perspective, how I choose to view the story.
How do you want to view the world?
What type of person do you want to be?
Because the perspective of the stories you focus on end up becoming reality.
So when you look back at your life, what do you want to see? In spite of what happens, you will feel better about life in general focusing on the positives.
The reality is some people think bad things just happen to them, and the reality is, bad stuff happens to everyone. You just don’t always hear about it, and other people turn it into a positive event versus a negative event.
My life has had ups and downs, but overall, I chose to remember the bad times with some positivity. I’ve just realized that it makes it worse to focus on the negatives. Unless there is a specific action I can take to fix an issue, I don’t worry about it. I move on and use my energy where I can make an impact.
First world problems.
Two narratives could shape my life, one of depression and misfortune, or one of the blessings and always seeing the good through the rough times. I do believe in the law of attraction. However, you view your life now and in the future. You are right.