Wham, Bam, Thank You, Uncle Sam!
The illegal fireworks going off around Chicago were so noisy this week that it was hard to hear the illegal gunshots.
On the afternoon of July Fourth, my wife, Deborah wanted to go to Navy Pier and watch Chicago’s fireworks up close. I can’t stand large crowds, and had absolutely no desire to go, but I’m working on being more solutions focused rather than being problems focused. So off we set.
It was crowded, but we found a parking spot a few blocks away, and we walked toward the lake. More than 100,000 other people had the same idea, and the pier was so crowded that several thousand people were turned away. It was literally cheek to jowl for 15 minutes at the gates to Navy Pier. We worked our way through a teaming mass of humanity toward the end of the pier.
Every place to sit, lean and stand was occupied hours before the show began, and we wandered around looking for a good spot to position ourselves.
Near the far end of the pier, right in front of the fireworks display is Riva, a high quality seafood restaurant. They’ve been booked solid for weeks, and there were dozens of people congregating in front of the door to the restaurant. Deborah encouraged me to talk to the hostess and see if we could get a table. When I asked the young lady if there was a table for two, she let out a deep sigh, and said that it would probably be a couple of hours. But out of courtesy, she scrawled my name at the bottom of a very long list and she said that she’d talk to her manager.
We walked toward the bar, and the hostess called out and said that she had a window seat available. We were seated, had a very nice meal of grilled seafood. Just as we finished, the fireworks show began right in front of us.
It was an incredible stroke of good luck. If we showed up ten minutes earlier or later, we would have been out of luck. Instead, my wife was happy, and that made me happy.
I tell you this not to brag, but to encourage you to take action even when every scrap of evidence tells you that you will fail. If I listened to the voice in my head, I never would have spoken to the hostess. There was no way that I could have known that they had several no shows because their customers weren’t able to get through the crowds.
As you go out this week, shut off the negative voice in your head, and take action with enthusiasm. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.