What Do Circumstances Reveal About You?

I read a quote the other day by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.” I think this is very true. I am sure you have witnessed people who have been in a situation which causes stress, or a circumstance that was out of their control, just as I have. There are many different responses that can take place: Anger, self-pity, frustration, blame, or worse. Some people take the high road and exhibit calm, go-with the-flow, and the like. What do circumstances reveal about you?

My husband and I were in the airport the other day, beginning our vacation, and the line to check in our bags was over an hour long! I had never been to the airport when it was this busy…EVER! As a result of the long, long line, we missed our flight, along with many other people. Luckily they were able to get us on another non-stop flight four hours later. The alternative would have been to get on a flight with a stop and a layover or come back the following day.

I was happy under the circumstances with the outcome.
Was I happy that we missed our flight? No!
Was I happy that the airline was so understaffed for the spring break crowd that we missed our flight? No!
Was I happy that I had to spend four extra hours in the airport? No!

BUT, I had a choice to make; I could either take the high road and make the best of the unfortunate circumstances that were before us…or I could be angry and throw my own little pity party, and make my blood pressure sore and let my travel companions and onlookers feel uncomfortable because of my sour attitude. Have you been in circumstances like this where things were unpleasant and out of your control? I think we all have been there. It is not a great feeling. I would say that nobody enjoys these unpleasant and inconvenient situations.

 BUT, we all get to choose how we react to them. There is such power in that!
We must remember that our reactions affect ourselves and other people who are around us.

In the airport, I heard one lady on the phone say, “Well, my flight is delayed, but I have my book so I will just read and wait.” Her voice was calm and I could sense there was no inner turmoil whatsoever. Another grown man was physically and outwardly throwing a tantrum. He was yelling and threw his bag of trail mix all over the floor. Looking around I could see expressions on faces and feel the energy…some people were going with the flow and others had much inner turmoil. Same situation…different reactions.

During our wait, I stumbled upon a “Walk the Sky Harbor Fitness Trail” brochure, and my husband and I got to walk the whole airport and see things we had not seen before. We realized that one of his favorite restaurants was in the airport…we never knew and would not have known had we made our flight. We also got to walk over 2 miles and get a little workout in before sitting on a 3 hour flight. All because we missed our flight!

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s monitor the way we react to uncomfortable and stressful circumstances. Let’s make sure we are not acting childish and making other people feel uncomfortable because we have a sour attitude. Let’s take the high road, go with the flow, and make the best of it.

Because Together is Better,


  1. Deanna, I love that you wrote about this! Since I travel a lot, I get to see this kind of situation all the time. I find I am always so appreciative when I see people responding positively and creatively to a tough situation. I know the power of choice and appreciate how you shared it. Since whatever is going on for me goes out in my energy field, affecting everything around me, I want to make sure that it shines.

  2. Hi! I have been sandwiched between two people who where snoring and resting their head on my shoulder on a flight once. lol I have been on some chaotic flights before too. I can either chill out or I can ramp up the drama and have a meltdown. I say bringing good books to read always helps with a delayed fight. Thanks for being positive. =)

  3. Deanna, what a beautiful reminder that when we choose to take the high (heart) road instead of the low (ego) road we allow ourselves to experience the magic all around us.

  4. Same situation, different reactions — very powerful look at opportunities for choices. Thanks for the perspective!

  5. Yes, absolutely! We create our own world. We can make it hell for ourselves or heaven on earth. Yup, we are that powerful!

  6. Beautifully written and critical information. It’s all — 100% — about how I choose to react. Life just keeps happening, doesn’t it? So I get to choose.

    My choice affects my experience of what is. So grateful I’ve learned to make better choices!

    Love and gratitude for you!

    • Thank you Sue! Yes, life keeps happening and we all get to chose how we react! Isn’t that so empowering? Love and Gratitude right back to you, I appreciate your wise words and growth! -Deanna

  7. I totally agree with this.. Any circumstances can make you strong.. My son usually read and watch Dr. Seuss 😀

  8. I love that you decided to take the high road after missing your flight! It is so easy to become upset and sit there and fester, but I admire you for moving forward and making the best of a crappy situation:) What was your fave restaurant in the airport?:)

    • Thank you Daniele. It is OK to feel the anger, but then we must move past it and make the best of it instead of festering, as you say. That does no good for anyone, because nothing will change. The great restaurant is “Four Peaks”. They are a local restaurant and brewery in Arizona. If you find yourself here, you need to go…I have never had anything that wasn’t’ fabulous! -Deanna

  9. Love this! I’m ashamed to say many times give in to my anger when in a stressful situation.I need to watch that about myself!

    • Marielle, admitting this is hard, and I thank you for your transparency. This is the first step to change though…go for it..growth ahead! -Deanna

  10. Nothing tells the true measure of a man like when adversity hits!

  11. This is a great story! The different reactions and outlooks of the situation are interesting to think about. Good advice! 🙂

    • Thank you Ashley! Look around next time you are in a similar situation and you will see and feel all the different reactions and energies. You can then see which are more attractive and which repel. -Deanna

  12. Marjory Johnson says:

    Love the Dr. Seuss quote. That’s how we need to look at the unexpected and move forward. Great post.

  13. Jim Striegel says:

    Very good ways to look at a situation that we weren’t prepared to handle.

  14. Great tips here. This post is a turbo-charger to start the week right.

  15. What a great reminder to make the best out of a bad situation. Happy attitudes are much healthier for us! Thanks for the post 🙂

  16. I absolutely agree with your article. Various things happen that are out of our control and we can either take it for what it is and make the best out of it or we can complain about something that we cannot change. It’s always best to stay positive! 🙂

    • I totally love that you have that attitude! It is hard sometimes to display it when you are in the heat of something uncomfortable…but that shows self control and great character. -Deanna

  17. What a positive way to look into things. I love the attitude!

  18. Great post today as usual. This really caused me to think. I have to be honest with you…..many times stress and even anger. But ultimately the real me comes out – perseverance, strong will, dedication, gratitude, discipline, pride (but the good kind) and leadership (mostly because my kids are watching). I still have to learn to smile through difficult circumstances, because in the end it is just stuff you cannot control

    • Thank you Veronica! I love that you are able to take a look in and see your strengths and where you need to adjust. It is so important, like you say, to act with integrity when we have children. You can not tell your children to not have a tantrum when you are having one yourself! 🙂 -Deanna

  19. Good advice, I will be sure to take the high road!

Speak Your Mind