At first glance this step might appear strange. After all, if we are to deal with what is between us and our objective why should we ignore it? However, by approaching the issue as separate pieces rather one single item, certain parts may be set aside without us needing to engage with them.
For the sake of illustration, let me share a tale from a few years back. My objective was to attend a three-day training course in London starting 9.30am Friday. Everything was duly arranged with the flight booked for noon Thursday from Bologna, Italy.
Late Wednesday afternoon I was advised by the travel agency the flight was canceled, but a place on an earlier flight had been reserved for me. At the airport the next day the ticket office and check-in staff were great. Even at the boarding gate all was fine.
Problems began once we were on the bus to take us to the plane. Due to technical issues we were to be delayed. After much waiting we were told the flight was canceled. Next came an announcement advising us to collect our baggage as alternative flights were available from Verona and Pisa.
From the perspective of finding pieces to ignore, the obstacle came down to the question, ‘Can and will the airline get me to London by 9.30 am Friday?’ Giving them more than twenty-four hours and imposing no limits in terms of routes, I believed the company capable of achieving this.
A number of passengers were upset at missing meetings and ongoing flights out of London. Some travelers decided to abandon the trip altogether. The day was stressful to many. Ignoring the peripheral issues, I chose to focus my efforts and energy on attending the course on Friday morning.
Again the ground crew were excellent, dealing with a plane full of disgruntled people. I eventually found myself on a coach going to Pisa – it was lovely to see the Tower again after many years. At the airport we were boarded in a hurry and so I was on my way to London.
Once in the UK a few of the passengers continued their dispute with the airline staff. However, my objective was the course and I couldn’t see the point of getting embroiled in a protracted and energy sapping situation. I was in London, yes the day had been given over to traveling, but never mind.
Overcoming, the fourth step of the five-step approach to handling obstacles, will be looked at next time. In the meantime, thanks for being here today.