This morning I went to Como Zoo with my son. It was a normal "guy's outing" except that The Gorillas had escaped from their pens.
Now, I jumped out of a plane the day I turned 18. I've stopped a man's heart in the operating room. I've handled snakes and sharks, swum with dolphins, dived off cliffs, and many many other things that shocked me, brought me close to death or a powerful and/or dangerous animal. But nothing I've done would have prepared me for the moment I'd be face to face with a hulking beast that could tear me apart by accident.
When we arrived at Como, no one was allowed into the actual zoo because the apes had broken out. They were on a bloodthirsty rampage for all I knew as I naively entered the building's main entrance where I believed I was safe from the man-slaughtering homicidal brutes. Thinking that we were just ducking into approved areas, my son and I moved further off the beaten path, in one door, out another, then another, and another. And I would have to put up the fight of my life to protect him.
At easily ten times the strength of the strongest humans, no man can contend with an aggressive gorilla determined to crush him. And, luckily, I didn't have to. The people at Como did a great job keeping the gorillas from ever reaching a point where any visitors were in real danger.
You see, I did have to contend with my angry little gorilla, my son, who expected to be in the zoo. I wrestled him physically as he struggled to get into the zoo he had been so excited all morning to get into. I did wrestle to death... his disappointment. I did have to protect him... from himself.
Just like grow ups, kids get so locked into how they want things to turn out that they completely fall apart when things don't turn out that way. But just like the zookeepers at Como were able to peacefully resolve the unexpected results, I was able to tame the child. My son is actually quite adaptable; and after the initial upset, we had a great time and turned it into an awesome day and an awesome situation. We didn't dwell on the disappointment. We simply detoured to do something completely new, learning about the bonsai and the various other plants in the greenhouse.
And while this happened I couldn't help but see the parallel for so many people I work with and have worked with over the years. Your life doesn't turn out just as expected. Your job, your weightloss journey, your relationships surprise you. The ape gets loose. But you're still stuck being disappointed, instead of loving the greenhouse.
Sometimes even an article isn't going to turn out the way you thought; but hopefully you can see that it turned out even better.