There they were, 60 freshly painted white doors with black trim in my thirty-unit apartment building. Great job. Except for one minor detail: this was the opposite of what I asked my maintenance guy to do. I specified BLACK doors with WHITE trim.

I don’t usually fly off the handle, but this mix-up really torqued me. My first impulse was to chew him out, but the BPOR (Better Part Of Rob) took control and said, “take a walk.”

So I headed across the street to stroll around our local pond, stopping first to pick up my indispensable advisor and walking companion, Shakespeare. A fluorescent green, 12-inch Amazon parrot, Shakespeare sits on my shoulder during walking excursions, ever on the lookout for things I should REALLY pay attention to.

As we rounded the bend, Shakespeare leaned toward me and gently nibbled on my ear (that’s his way of telling me to look at something.) I ignored him. He nibbled a little harder as if to say, “Yo stupid, there’s a magnificent cardinal sitting in the birch tree). I still ignored him. He nibbled way harder and made his point: I had a choice of enjoying a moment of beauty and serenity, or I could stew in my own anger and fantasies about dressing down my maintenance guy for his mistake.

I walked another hour, listening to Shakespeare and focusing on the wonders of the pond, including a beautiful swan that sat peacefully on the mirror-smooth water. At the end of the walk, I’d recovered my usual peaceful state of mind.

To a mole, sunshine is bad news. Shakespeare does a great job of letting me know when I’m being a mole. What happened was that I stopped chanting “WOE is me!” by granting myself the inner freedom I needed to look at the world from a very different perspective. Like magic, as my mood transformed from angry to grateful, it changed the world around me.

Here’s what learned from this little adventure:
• When I’m inwardly ill-at-ease, I don’t see life as it is. I see life as I am at the moment

• When I elevate my mood from “Woe is me” to “Wow, look at the beauty around me,” I elevate my problem from gloomy to easily solvable – let’s just repaint the doors and trim again.

• Just as a helium balloon rises higher when excess weight is dropped out of the basket, my mood rises higher when I drop the excess baggage of WOEful thinking from my mind.

By the way, when I met with my building manager the next day, he’d already taken the personal initiative to correct half the mistake – he and the crew worked overtime and finished the doors. All that was left was the trim.

Funny how life can work out if we give it a chance, isn’t it. The mistake can oftentimes be undone without a lot of drama.

Author's Bio: 

Rob White is an author, storyteller & a motivational coach with a purpose. Rob created as a way to provide individuals with all the resources they need to wake up to the power of WOW (Wonderfully Obsessed with Winning). Rob has dedicated his life to inspire individuals to realize and accomplish their own life goals by providing seminars, workshops, videos, articles, blogs, books and original animation shorts.

Rob is the author of 180, a guide to achieving “inner strength and outer freedom”, and A Second Chance at Success: Remarkably Simple Ways to Open Your life to Opportunities and Turn Past Mistakes Into Lasting Confidence, Happiness and Success. Rob is regularly featured on the Huffington Post and his original articles are published in dozens of print and online publications.