When looking back on the ways events turned out in our past, we sometimes believe that they can’t be changed, but maybe that’s short-sighted.
Each day we are presented with the opportunity to make a choice: whether to get out of bed, what to wear, what to have for breakfast – little choices that prepare us for making bigger ones as we encounter change.
A return to Empire State College
This past weekend, as an alumnus, I was chosen to present on The Adapter Factor™ to attendees at the SUNY Empire State Student Academic Conference in Albany, New York. The fall colors were impressive and the temperature a chilly 30 degrees in the morning.
The staff, at The Radisson Hotel, was so accommodating and they made my stay a sheer pleasure.
Friday night after dinner the president of Empire State College, Melodie A. Hancock, was walking through the group and I stopped her, introduced myself, and asked if I could tell her a story. When she agreed, I told her the following:
Last year I was unable to attend my walk-through graduation in Saratoga, New York as I lived in Las Vegas and my husband was working in DC. I ordered my mortarboard and tassel as a remembrance.
It was announced that the graduation ceremony was going to be live-streamed, so I arranged to Face Time with my husband and hold the iPad up to the computer screen so that we could attend my college graduation together (I started in 1966 and finished in 2014).
When the president of the college (Melodie Hancock) asked the graduates to please stand, I did so. Then she requested we move our tassels to the other side of the cap, and I did that as well, effectively graduating myself, with tears of joy.
To my surprise, she told me how moved she was with my story and took me to meet the man in charge of PR, David Henahan, about how future graduations could be more inclusive to those who could not attend. I mentioned that my only regret was that I was not awarded the graduation medal that she had presented to those in attendance. President Hancock responded that she would see that one was sent to me and requested Aimee Woznick, a staff member who I had worked with on preparing my Power Point, to locate one.
I was stunned!
The power of sharing your story
Because I had told my story something that I had dearly wanted was being given!
I told my husband about this conversation and he said, “You ask people to figure out the “why” and when change presents itself to adapt; now you are living that step.”
The next day was filled with more sessions and then a Town Meeting so that three officials from the college could hear the suggestions and concerns of the students. The panel consisted of: Tom Mackey, Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Alfred Ntoko, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Clayton Steen, Vice President for Enrollment Management.
At the end of the session, Danielle Broadman, one of the organizers for the Student Conference, said that President Hancock had been moved by a story she had heard and requested she do something. Danielle then said, “Could Linda Lynch-Johnson, please come forward.”
I was surprised and curious and then I saw that Danielle was holding a graduation medal in her hands! She proceeded to tell the room full of attendees the story I had shared with President Hancock the night before and then placed the medal around my neck! The crowd rose to their feet and applauded. I probably had the biggest smile on my face I had ever had and I couldn’t move! The officials then came and had their photo taken with me. The rest of the day was filled with hugs and well-wishes.
The reason I am sharing this, is to remind you that by telling our stories – our “whys” of doing the actions which move us forward in this life – we can adapt the changes in our lives to reflect that which we want to create and not focus on the “if only.”
What do you now recognize as your “Why?” How are you going to adapt to change the outcome of your regrets? Will your life be a “trick” or a “treat”?
If you wish to embrace the “why” in your life, contact me for the availability of presentations and workshops.
Benefit from the Adapter Factor
Linda Lynch-Johnson is available for keynote, breakout sessions and spousal programs for your next event.
Let her help you use The Adapter Factor to thrive. She can be reached through her agent, Jennifer Lier at Las Vegas Keynote Speakers by calling 702-706-4037, or by using the button below…