Tag Archives: birthday

Why Bad Sushi Can Actually Provide You with Unexpected Opportunities

sushi  I was on the other side of someone’s bad-feeling beliefs the other day.  It wasn’t fun.

My son chose to celebrate his 17th birthday at our (formally) favorite restaurant – hiko-A-mon (A sushi restaurant in Eastern Louisville).

My wife and I were happy with his choice; we had dined there probably thirty times in the last year.  Unfortunately, we can no longer call this place our favorite.

A Special Meal Turned Out to Be Not So Special (But Not Unrepairable)

I called ahead and reserved their special party room and told the restaurant that we were celebrating our son’s birthday that evening.  Both of my son’s grandparents joined us for the party.

As sometimes happens with any restaurant, the experience was not pleasant.

  • It took about forty-five minutes for our food to arrive
  • Some of the orders were wrong or incomplete
  • The food was lacking its normal luster

But, hey, that can happen to any restaurant from time to time, right?

The Owner Got to Be “Right”, But Being Right Cost Him Hundreds of Dollars

Being that we are regular customers and this was a special night, and being a person who believes its better to tell the management when I’m not pleased (rather than walk out and never return), I politely told the owner of hiko-A-mon about the problems that had made our special meal unpleasant.

The owner told me, “Too bad”.

All I really wanted was some recognition and empathy.  And a token deduction from our tab would’ve gone a long way to that end.

When I told the owner of hiko-A-mon that this has been our favorite restaurant and we had dined there many, many times, he was unmoved.  When I told the owner of hiko-A-mon that handling this matter differently would cement us as customers for life, his unfortunate response was “Well, I’m the owner and that’s too bad.”

I was angry, but mostly sad to be honest.  Not just sad that my son’s birthday was a little less special (we made up for that by going out for pie and ice cream later).  Mostly sad that the restaurant’s owner let this opportunity pass him by.

It was like watching a person be handed a nugget of gold and flushing it down the toilet. (Click that link to Tweet it)

I Don’t Like Starting Over Sometimes, But Sometimes I Have To

The scenario, however, ended up reinforcing my belief that there are kernels of opportunity in every circumstance, no matter how undesirable they seem.  The unsatisfactory meal could have been put in our rear view mirror with some simple gestures of kindness by the owner (which we believed we had earned due to our patronage).

In other words, a moment of the owner of hiko-A-mon’s time and empathy (and a few less bucks in his till that evening) would’ve netted him hundreds of dollars in long run.  His instance on being “right” negated a win-win for everyone.

Now we need to find a new favorite restaurant.  Which, I suppose, might be a great opportunity for us. 😉

I invite you to join me in learning from this restaurant owner’s mistake.  Don’t be blinded by bad-feeling beliefs.  Step back today, when the unwanted happens, and seize the opportunity to benefit from the inherent blessing to be found there. (Click that link to Tweet it)

And stay tuned to this blog for more techniques to use new paradigms from quantum physics to align your life with your desires…

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How My Newborn Son’s Near-Death Taught Me that We Can Always Choose Gratitude

baby boy   Seventeen years ago this morning, my (then) wife gave birth to our first son.  He was six weeks premature.

I caught a glimpse of him as the nurse whisked him to the delivery room table where the team gets babies breathing.  My wife and I waited, anxious to hold him.

But we heard no cries from our baby.

More nurses began to gather around the table and assist the doctor.  The team’s activity became more frantic; we could hear the concern in their voices.  Minutes passed, seeming like hours, but still we heard no sounds from our baby.

“What’s wrong?”, we began to imploringly ask.  Tears of fear streaming down our faces.

The delivery team was too occupied with working on our son to answer our questions.  Within moments our baby was rushed out of the delivery room and a nurse explained to us that they were unable to get him breathing and were rushing him to the children’s hospital downtown.

We never got to hold him on his birthday.  Let alone see him.

Wipe Your Eyes (I Just Did) and Keep Reading

My son is seventeen years old today.

He spent over a month in that infant intensive care unit.  I aged a year in that month.  And I’m happy to say (given the alternative) that my son has given me plenty more opportunities to prematurely age since March 27th, 1996. 😉

I’m really proud of the thoughtful, open-minded, curious, intelligent, and mature young man my first-born son has grown into.  I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to be his father and mentor him.  He’ll always hold a special place in my heart because he is my first child; he made me a father.

It’s been wonderful to have the perspective of what “might have been”, had things turned out differently during my son’s first month of life.  Especially when he does something that gives me a few more gray hairs.  Yet I’m also grateful that I don’t need something so obvious, to feel grateful for, to find gratitude.

(Finding gratitude for being grateful is a very powerful Mobius band, by the way.  I highly recommend it!) (Click that link to Tweet it)

Did You Know You Have a Super-Power?

Yet my gratitude for my son on his birthday reminds me just how powerful gratitude is.  In a universe where our beliefs create our expectations and our expectations create our material reality, building beliefs powered by gratitude forms extraordinary life experiences. (Click that link to Tweet it)

In fact, as I’ve written in an earlier post, gratitude is so effective it’s like a secret super-power.

Is there any life experience where you can’t uncover some inherent gratitude?  I haven’t found one yet. (Click that Link to Tweet it)

Oh, I’ll be the first to admit that I have plenty of life experiences that are undesirable or unwanted.  Things that would be different were I, literally, writing a script.  But even the worst hold kernels of gratitude; in fact, sometimes the worst of them hold the most powerful seeds of gratitude. (Click that link to Tweet it)

Even if only in retrospect.

A Commitment and Willingness to Try is All it Takes

If I’m committed to finding gratitude in all my life’s circumstances, I’ve found that I can eventually find gratitude in even the really undesirable ones.  Because of my previous experiences with finding it there.

As in, I can tell myself this story:

“Although this event is very frightening, feels bad, and is extremely unwanted, I can believe that I’ll be okay, things happen like they’re supposed to, and, in the long run, I will most likely find hidden blessings in these events.  Even if that takes a while, for now I can choose to feel my feelings, resolve to face my fears, and trust that things will be okay.”

Allow Me to Be Presumptuous for a Moment

Am I presumptuous to tell you that you can always choose to tell yourself a story like that one?  What if you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, learning about a frightening diagnosis, or losing your marriage?

No, I am not being presumptuous; I have faced those events myself and told that story.  Things have not always turned out exactly as I wanted, but that story has always proven prophetic  – I have always been okay in the long run and, also in the long run, I have always found hidden blessings in those undesirable events.

Because, over time and with enough telling, that story has become one of my beliefs.

Given the Choice, Why Wouldn’t You Choose Gratitude Over the Alternative?

The stories you tell are, and will always be, your choice.  Even when the events are horribly unwanted.  Google the names of “Viktor Frankl” and “Louie Zamperini” if you want to learn more about people who used this technique under the most wretched situations imaginable and survived (even thrived) – especially as time passed.

Today, as I feel grateful for the gift of seventeen years spent with my son, I hope you, too, find many things to be grateful for.  And I also hope you join me in my commitment to telling stories about all life’s circumstances that allow you to feel gratitude.

You’ll love the material reality those beliefs you build will create.

And Happy Birthday, son!

And stay tuned to this blog for more techniques to use new paradigms from quantum physics to align your life with your desires…