Photo by Clément Vatte on Unsplash

Listen to this blog post:

Let me tell you another true story.

A few years ago, I was invited by a friend of mine to play a round of golf at a country club golf course in the suburbs of Chicago.

We were to play with my friend’s brother and his boss, both doctors in private practice.

I arrived at the country club with a nice shirt that did not have a collar.  My friend was dressed the same way.

This country club has its own rules and etiquette for playing golf.

When we arrived at the first tee, the starter indicated that the rules of the country club were very clear and no one could play golf in a shirt that did not have a collar.

Since my friend and I both lived 45 minutes from the course, there was no way we could drive home to change.

We were told our only alternative was to buy a shirt from the pro shop if we wanted to play.

Every shirt in the pro shop was priced at least $90, making the required purchase a very expensive one.

My friend and I decided to both purchase shirts with size 3XL (3 extra large).

Let me say, we both looked ridiculous.  The shirt can down past my knees and I could have fit three of me inside the shirt.

When my friend and I returned to the first tee, the starter was furious. 

He said we could NOT play. 

I pointed out that the rules clearly stated you could only play with a shirt that had a collar.

The rules said nothing else about the size or anything else about shirts for golfers.

My shirt had a collar and my friend’s shirt had a collar, even though they were three sizes to large.

So, the starter had no choice but to let us tee off.

We played 18 holes that day and were the talk of the country club, and not in a good way.

As funny as it turned out, this is one unexpected situation for which I was not prepared.

How do you prepare for unexpected situations and events in your own life?

Always remember to PACK before you do anything.

  1. Presence of Mind. Presence of mind refers to the ability to remain alert, focused, and stay in the moment, especially during unexpected, stressful situations.  When you have presence of mind you maintain your self-awareness and clarity of thought under pressure.  For example, my friend and I had the presence of mind to create a solution for our shirt without a collar problem.
  2. Adaptability. Adaptability refers to the ability to adjust to new, unexpected conditions. When you are adaptable, you are flexible and willing to respond to changing circumstances, situations and events as they are occurring.  For example, my friend and I adapted to the situation and purchase a shirt with a collar, a 3XL shirt with a collar.
  3. Calm.  Being calm involves maintaining control over your emotional triggers and emotional responses and thinking clearly under pressure and in adverse situations.  Remaining calm in unexpected stressful situations is a valuable skill that can significantly affect the outcome of the unexpected circumstances, situations and events you’re facing. For example, my friend and I remained calm when being told we could not play without wearing a shirt with a collar and when we went back to the first tee and were told our shirts were too big.
  4. Knowledgeable.  Having knowledge in unexpected situations is crucial because it empowers you to respond with confidence and effectively make informed decisions. Creating knowledge of circumstances, situations and events you are facing includes gathering general and specific information, evaluating risks and responding effectively, including feeling responsible, prepared and in control.  For example, every time I am invited to do something, I check the local rules, regulations, etc. to make sure I do not have to purchase another 3XL sized shirt for $90.

Always remembering to PACK before you do anything can help make a positive impact in your own life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2024, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.