1 Destination, 1 Week, 2 Mindsets, 2 Experiences

By Haven Lindsey  in  blog  on  09.22.2013

What I’m about to share happened just a few weeks ago. It’s not a story I read in a motivational or inspirational book, I didn’t hear it from a pastor or a preacher, it wasn’t on NPR or any number of places where we hear these sorts of thing. This was something that was laid out in front of me from the beginning to the end and, for me, is a strong enough validation of thinking positively rather than negatively, that I’ve decided to share it. I know there is a chance that one or both parties will read this and I’ve decided that it’s ok. I won’t disclose names or locations, I will refer to both as ‘friends’ (which is generous), but I promise, it’s true.

A number of months ago, two sets of friends began planning a vacation. Both sets talked to me about their plans and both decided to vacation at the same location, during the same week and from what I believe, across the street from one another. I was the common denominator in these friendships; the other parties did not know one another and because (1) they are very different from one another and (2) I had a strong sense to stay quiet about the others’ plans, I did not share with either party that I had friends traveling to the same place at the same time.

It all unfolded right in front of me, friends ‘A’ and friends ‘1’.  The A’s struggled from the beginning to find a place. Everything was expensive, nothing was close enough to the beach, there were extra fee’s for parking and guests and it was difficult for them to finally decide. The 1’s exhibited excitement. They wanted to go to this area, they hoped they could be close to the beach but knew they were active enough that walking a couple of blocks to the beach would be ok; they seemed excited to see the other members of their party, who they had not seen in months. The A’s were worried that people in their party wouldn’t get along because it had been months since they had all been together. They finally decided on a place but commented that they were paying too much. The 1’s seemed thrilled to find a place that would accommodate their large group and laughed that they’d be sharing rooms for the first time in years.

As the vacation week approached the A’s were anxious, they weren’t sure about everyone’s diet, they had so much to pack, they were dreading the drive and the traffic and seemed resentful about having to meet some of their party at the airport. The 1’s had gone to a local store and bought matching beach towels for everyone and found silly cups for everyone to drink from, everyone had a ‘themed’ cup. They created a hand-made sign for their party who they were meeting at the airport and had bought Hawaiian-style lei’s to present to them upon their arrival (no, they weren’t in Hawaii).

And so the vacation week happened and I gave some thought to the A’s and the 1’s and wondered how it was going. And then they returned.

The A’s came back to explain it was hot, crowded and people were rude. Drivers cut them off, they had to wait in line everywhere they went and the restaurant food was so expensive they refused to eat out and ended up making sandwiches for every meal. They didn’t get along well and they said it took them hours to go out of their way to drop off their party at the airport. Part of their party left early. The A’s said they would never return and wish they hadn’t gone there at all.

The 1’s returned and had so many photos to share I’ve still not seen them all. They had a great time, they commented that there were so many people from all over to meet and they enjoyed talking with folks as they were on the beach and waiting for tables in restaurants. They shared rooms and stayed up late talking and sharing stories. They enjoyed their themed cups and beach towels so much that they decided each vacation would have a theme. They showed me photo’s taken from the airport with them holding up their cups. They are considering a return trip to the same location next summer.

Same week. Same location. Same. Same. Same. Very, very, different.

Neither party knows that I knew they were both there. I felt like a member of an audience. Each set had fun; one set cannot wait to go back, they are excited to see one another again while the other set appeared to be glad it was over and plan never to return to such a crowded, rude place.

From my perspective as the audience member I think whatever we feed will grow. Our minds are alive, just like seeds, just like like plants. If we think good thoughts, we sow good thoughts and we reap good experiences. If we think negative thoughts, we sow negative thoughts and we reap negative experiences.

When each group unpacked their bags, they brought with them their attitudes, perspectives and mindsets and what they brought with them influenced their experience.

This is all up to us.
What we experience is up to us.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

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