Lisa Ryan first class“It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

Seat 1C – YES! A complimentary upgrade to first class is like winning the travel lottery. As I looked at the empty seat next to me, I anticipated who would be sitting there. Would it be a potential business connection?  A celebrity? A fellow speaker? As it turns out – none of the above.

My seatmate was Bob, a jobless, homeless, disabled veteran. As we chatted, I couldn’t help but ask, “Bob, you’re jobless and homeless – how are you sitting in first class?” Bob told me his brother bought him a ticket so he could visit their mother at her nursing home. Because of his disability, he needed an aisle seat. Because there were none left in coach, he was upgraded to first class.

After Bob had shared his story, he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “You know, now that I’ve sat in First Class, I don’t think I can ride in coach again.”  Bob told me he wasn’t sure why he was in the predicament he was in, all Bob knew was that he was supposed to be homeless and jobless at this point in his life so he could learn how to help others in similar situations. He looked at his life completely differently than most people would consider his plight. He saw the world through the lens of hope, humility and help.

How often do you think about the challenges you face regarding lessons to be learned? If it’s been awhile, take a minute today to consider how where you are right now is helping you to become your very best self. Enjoy the ride!

PS – Bob had found his Grategy – his gratitude strategy to deal with the challenges in life – have you?