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Declining the Invitation

Every day we are presented with opportunities to react one way or another. On a recent trip to Nevada, I had just one of those experiences. For context, I was at a conference as a speaker and had completed my first speaking engagement for the day. My feet were exhausted and I just wanted to relax. I have become more intentional about how I pack when I travel for speaking engagements and overnight stays in hotels. I take my swim trunks for the hot tub and/or pool, and my flip flops for many different reasons.

A speaker friend of mine, Tom Cody, has a keynote where he discusses where our energies are best serving us and where they are pulling against us. He refers to this as ‘the line’. When our energies are working for us, we are above the line. When above the line, we are more productive, positive, and understanding of others. When we fall below the line, we may become much less patient, less tolerant, grumpy, or even flat out negative. As an example, over the past five years my favorite football team, the Denver Broncos, have brought me below the line on far too many Sundays in the fall.  We will come across many opportunities during the day to go below the line. We might get a flat tire, have an argument with our boss, have far too many noisy kids in our 4th period class, and so on. These moments are what Tom refers to as an ‘invitation’ to go below the line.

Back to my exhausted state at the end of my day. I wanted only to relax, to put my feet up, then wear my flip flops for the remainder of the day. I went to grab them from my suitcase and found that I had brought two right foot flip flops. (see image) You can imagine what went through my head when I saw this. It wasn’t even that I saw it more so that I felt it. I put my right foot into a flip flop, then tried to do the same with my left foot. Nope…not happening. UGH…here it is MY INVITATION has arrived.

Time to go below the line…

But I declined that invitation. I had a choice and decided it was not worth it. Instead, it was a great laugh. Why be upset, I can’t control it at this point. And here is the point for this silly post. Many things will happen to us during the course of a day. Several of them will be small and insignificant (like my flip flop faux pas). Most of them we cannot control. When given the choice whether you allow something to take you below the line, stop and pause. Is that really where you want to be? I certainly wasn’t looking to get angry about my flip flops. Oh, I was disappointed. But rather than go below the line, I chose to take the picture you see in this post and share it with my family and some friends. If I can’t control it, I might as well laugh at it. Save the stress for the big stuff.

Have a Road to Awesome week!


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