This week, I have the privilege of seeing clients in three cities and teaching or facilitating all five days.  That’s pretty typical during our “high season” in November when CPAs are ready to explore new strategies and learn new things in preparation for their spring busy period.

Yesterday, I had the most painful day of travel I’ve had in a very long time, culminating in my missing several hours of training with a client.  Fortunately, I was team teaching with my partner, Tamera Loerzel ( and she more-than-ably ran the first part of the class in my absence.  During my flight delays, missed connections, wrong directions and more, I was reminded that I had to consciously choose who I was going to be about it all.  As my mom says, I had the choice to “be mad or glad” about my circumstances.   I have to admit that it would have been difficult to work up “glad” – especially when it would have been so much easier to have been a grouchy wench and vent my anger, frustration, disappointment, and yes – even despair at one point – onto someone else along the way.  But instead, I worked hard to breathe deep and put my problems into perspective.  While I wasn’t winning any client service awards for arriving late at the training and I was enduring delays, red tape, mistakes and more, I wasn’t:

  • Mourning the loss of a loved one
  • Ill with a life-threatening disease
  • Worried for the well-being of my family
  • Desperately seeking employment or funding
  • Wondering whether I’d have food or shelter that night

This is a morbid list of life’s most terrible challenges.  But it’s also a list of problems that people we know are grappling with.  My life’s little disappointments could not hold a candle to those kinds of challenges! Whatever bad luck I was experiencing – I could face with grace and humor.

Ironically, on October 28, I tweeted, “Great leaders keep their chin up, even under enormous weight and obstacles that seem unmovable. Stay focused and positive to get to the goal!”  On November 1st, my resolve to follow my own advice was tested and I feel pretty good about how I fared.  That said, I know that I can be even more positive, more gleeful, and more grateful for my circumstances the next time I’m thrown one of life’s curve ball.

How do you stay positive when faced with life’s trials and tribulations?  Please share your strategies -- we can all benefit!