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Travelling is a great opportunity to practise looking for the win win in less-than-optimal situations.

The unfamiliarity of new places, new customs and new rules increases the likelihood of mistakes and miss-steps.

The elevator (or taxi) didn’t come.  I’ll take the stairs/walk. And get some additional exercise. Win win.

I think I’m running late! Time to slow down; and not panic. Win win.

Photography not allowed in a museum? I’ll just have to really look at the stuff on display. To really see. Win win.

Similarly at work: The client didn’t chose the solution I liked most? Their choice may be easier to implement. Or this may be the opportunity to learn new skills. Win win.

There is so much pressure on us all to be perfect. To never make mistakes. To always foresee and plan for the future correctly. To never have lapses of judgement or poise. And to respond to each situation correctly.

Looking for the win win moves us from self-blame and unproductive fault-finding, to going with the flow openly.

A complementary technique when something goes awry is to ask: will this matter in the larger scheme of things? Will I even think about this, or suffer any ill effects, in two days,  a week, a year? Because most things don’t.

I didn’t get the right discount ticket, so had to pay €5 more. I missed seeing one corner of an exhibit, and will never see it ever again. I didn’t get the right change but didn’t notice til later… None of these matter in the long run. But the emotional toll we can pay should we unconsciously use these to self-blame can be very high over time.

Likewise at work: the occasional spelling mistake, missed appointment, unhappy client. As long as we make amends they don’t matter in the long run. Unless we use these to reinforce a any less-than-healthy self esteem.

Image: Win-win via Shutterstock.