How many roadblocks are there in front of you at any given time? It seems like more often than not, there seems to be things that are standing in front of our progress.  If we could only get those roadblocks out of the way. The surprising thing is that most of the time we can. I’d like to share a story….

In 1978, I got on an airplane for the very first time. I was just shy of my nineteenth birthday. It was an exciting trip. I was going to Chicago for a music convention with a friend whom I worked with at the time. The plane landed at O’Hare Airport. I remember that when we landed, I couldn’t get my ears to “pop” back to normal. As a matter of fact, they didn’t seem to be back to normal until the next day. At O’Hare airport, we got our luggage and then took a cab to the Holiday Inn where we were staying. The hotel was on Lake Shore Boulevard with a great view that overlooked Lake Michigan.
When we arrived at the hotel, I remember the ride on the elevator. We were staying on the 15th floor. As we got on the elevator, my ears were still ringing and cloudy from the plane. I couldn’t hear quite right and it was driving me crazy. On top of that, the elevator seemed to be traveling at an incredible rate of speed. When we got off at the fifteenth floor, I had a combination of motion sickness from the speed of the elevator and a cloudy head (more than usual) from the plane ride.
I took a couple of steps off of the elevator, still trying to clear my head. As I walked out, there was a guy standing right in front of me. I took a step to the right to get by, and this guy took the same steps right in front of me. He wouldn’t let me by. I then took a step to the left and again this guy in front of me stepped the same way that I did and for the second time, he wouldn’t let me by.
Clearly this guy was looking for trouble. Now I’m a kid from Trenton and I had about enough of this. I finally said, “Hey pal, what’s the problem!?” As I was saying that, I looked up ready to go nose to nose with this guy…… then I saw myself…. It was a poignant moment.  When I got off of the elevator, what I hadn’t realized was that there was a mirrored wall directly ahead. I was trying to get out of my own way! The whole wall in front of the elevator was a mirror. Between the plane and elevator ride, I was a little cloudy and it made for great comedy.
The funniest part of this whole scenario was when I realized what had happened and I turned around, I saw my friend doubled over laughing hysterically. He had a ringside seat to me picking a fight with myself! This happened over forty years ago and we still talk about It whenever we get together. The moral to the story…Stay out of your own way!
You are far too smart to be standing in your own way.” – Jennifer Freema
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale