Lessons learned: Stay positive, laugh a lot, and look for solutions.
In June, a friend and I went camping with his dad for the weekend. Our goal for the trip was simple: Relax. Go boating. Swim. Hang out by the campfire. And eat a lot.
The trip started off without a hitch. Throughout the night, we shared stories and laughed a lot while snacking.
Midway through the night, when we heard growling coming from the woods near the camper, my friend and his dad quickly recognized the noise as raccoons. Not thinking anything about it, we continued talking until we headed into the camper to go to bed.
In the morning, after we woke up and headed outside, we found all of the wrappers from our food laying on the ground. The raccoons had stolen our food.
All my friend’s dad could do was laugh. He didn’t panic. He just laughed. Then, after laughing it off, it was problem-solving time: “How can we find breakfast?”
Laughing and problem-solving would become a trend for the weekend.
Later on, after visiting the grocery store for food, we decided to take the boat out. Once we were on the lake, there was a new adventure waiting for us – the boat’s battery died. And the spare battery was charging in the truck – on the other side of the lake.
Again, my friend’s dad had a good, hearty chuckle and started problem-solving. We ended up paddling across the lake and getting help from a nice couple, who towed us to the truck. We were able to get the boat out of the water, get a campfire going, and relax.
Regardless of the issue we faced, my friend’s dad was able to solve it. Looking back on that experience I learned four valuable lessons:
#1 – Stay Positive:
- Every time something unfavorable would happen to us, my friend’s dad would point out the good in the situation – like being close to the campsite when the boat battery died or being thankful that the raccoons didn’t take our CheezIts.
#2 – Laugh, Don’t Cry:
- It is not worth sulking over issues. Your time is better spent trying to figure out how to make the situation better. Without that “woe-is-me” attitude, we were able to find a solution in a fraction of the time.
#3 – Look For Solutions:
- Rather than dwelling on the problem, look for the solution. The quicker you get into the habit of constant problem solving, the easier it will be to take on any challenge that comes our way.
#4 – Don’t Leave Food Out:
- I think this one is obvious, but seriously don’t leave anything out while camping. Those little guys got into our coolers and everything!
Applying It To My Life
Since the experience, I have incorporated these lessons into my own life in little ways such as:
- Being thankful that I have time to listen to an interesting audiobook while sitting in traffic.
- Setting aside 15-minute breaks throughout the day to tinker with something in my apartment to make it better.
I can already tell a difference. I’m on my way to becoming a leader, like my friend’s dad.