Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ditch your expectations: you deserve it.

This short story just might change your life.. if you let it. A couple weeks ago an experience taught me the power of being flexible around expectations I have.

I was flying into Winnipeg and then driving to deliver a couple workshops on Conflict Management in Sioux Lookout Ontario.

I speak in Winnipeg usually twice a month and my rental with National Rent a Car on a previous trip was this great Volvo coupe. It had it all, or so I thought: stylish, sunroof, great handling, the most ergonomic seats I'd ever ridden in.. it was just one of those cars that makes you feel good.

So with the prospect of a 5 hour drive to Sioux Lookout and then 5 hours back to Winnipeg I did something I had never done before: I phoned the Winnipeg Airport Location in advance and placed my preference for a Volvo with them. They noted it and said that if one was available it would be mine.

So the Sunday came and I arrived in Winnipeg excited about my drive. I approached the counter and introduced myself to the gentleman behind it. He gathered my file, looked up and said: "Mr Benjatschek, I see here you requested a first class car for your long trip today. We are going to deliver that for you. Unfortunately none of the specific Volvos you requested have been returned to us but I am going to place you in a Luxurious Ford Taurus."

Sorry Ford , but the first thought that came to my mind was
"isn't putting the word luxury and Ford Taurus in the same sentence an oxymoron?!!"
Suspiciously, I took the keys and started to walk toward the lot, all along pondering what I was going to say when I discovered a plain Ford Taurus and went back inside to call his bluff and ask for a different car.

As you might guess, I never went back inside.
All that I can say is: Ford.. You have changed!!
Getting to my car I didn't see the plain jane ride I was expecting but instead discovered a very stylish sedan with an ultra comfortable leather interior, sunroof and Satellite Radio.. a must for driving the rolling hills of Hwy 17 North. I wasn't the only one who thought it was a great car .. I stopped for a Tim's on the way out of Winnipeg and when I came back out of the store with my coffee there was a group of men standing around my rental car and quickly asking: "is this baby yours?"

The ride was smooth and I went there and back on ONE TANK of GAS. Incredible.

This was not the Ford Taurus I always knew.

It drove home a great reminder to me: Sometimes when I stubbornly stick to existing expectations I miss out. Miss out on something better, different, interesting. Had I immediately balked at the Taurus based on previous impressions without taking the walk to check it out I would have missed out on a great car that was perfect for my trip to Sioux Lookout and that with satellite radio had me in a gut roll laugh listening to Blue Collar Comedy all the way out.

I don't know what things are stuck in "automatic" in your life. Things around which you've made up your mind, have definite opinions, people you like and people you've written off. Can I challenge you that things change and to step back from a few of them and ask "What's New?" You deserve the best. Sometimes it is just a question away.

David Benjatschek is a professional speaker/workshop facilitator and rock star change agent. Visit his website at