I’ve had many memorable experiences throughout my travels across the world. One particular memory always makes me laugh.

It was a couple years ago, I was with my family at one of our CMPS Live! Events.

We generally host our events at hotels and our attendees rent rooms at the same hotel.  To show their appreciation to us for the business we give them, the hotels generally give our family three hotel suites at the same price of a normal sleeping room.  The suites are normally each on a different floor and we always gather in one suite at the end of each day to recap the day’s happenings. 

The particular night of my story, we had decided to meet in my parents’ suite.  I informed everyone I was going to run to my room, change to my pajamas, and then meet them in my parents’ suite. Everyone else continued on to my parents’ room.

When we know we’re gathering, it’s customary for us to leave the bolt on the hotel room door open, in order to block the door from closing.  Then, when the last person enters the room, they shut the door completely and lock the door. This way, we don’t have to constantly get up to open the door for everyone who comes to the room.

It was a long day, so, after getting into my pajamas, I took my time walking down the hotel’s fifth floor hallway, where my parent’s suite was located.

Upon finding my parent’s room, with the door open as always, I walked in with my head bent in thought.  As I entered the room, I turned around, faced the door, shut it, locked the bolt on the door – and turned around towards the room to find I was smiling at a middle aged man whom I didn’t know.  This man was on the bed, reading.  I quickly realized this was not my parents’ room and I had entered the wrong room!

The man on the bed looked up at me, with his reading glasses halfway down his nose, and didn’t say a word.  I immediately started walking backwards, towards the door, repeatedly saying, “I’m so sorry, wrong room…so, so sorry sir…I’m so sorry…” I reached behind me, while still facing him, and unbolted the door; I then opened the door, backed out slowly, never stopping my constant babbling of, “I’m so sorry, sir.”  The man on the bed never said a word, just kept staring at me, shocked and flabbergasted by me, the crazy lady, walking into his room uninvited. I just kept backing out, until – finally – I was out of there; leaving the bolt open just as it was prior to my entrance.

Needless to say, I’ve never lived down that situation. 

Whenever I tell this story, I think to myself how much that situation is such an analogy to my life.  Let me tell you how…

In many instances throughout my business and personal life, I have entered “rooms” (places, situations, relationships) that I don’t belong in, simply because all the signs pointed to the fact that it was the correct room.  I have literally entered “rooms” and then later realized I didn’t belong there, because I was not paying full attention to where I was and into what room I was entering.  Can you relate to that?

I’ve also considered that my entering a wrong room on occasion has not only affected me, but has also affected the others who are watching me enter the room – or even those in the room.  For example, I later found out this man in the room was married with three children – well, imagine the reaction of his wife if she had seen me entering or exiting that room in my pajamas!  How have I affected others by entering or exiting an area where I didn’t belong in the first place?

What about the reasons I entered that room?  My reasons weren’t fundamentally wrong; I mean, I wasn’t purposely trying to enter an area where I didn’t belong.  However, it was a long day, and I had let my defenses down, becoming quite relaxed. I think I oftentimes enter into a situation where I don’t belong – not because I am purposely trying to do something wrong, but because my defenses are down.  I sometimes think I’m in a safe spot, or that I’m in complete control of myself and my situation – when, in reality, I am just about to enter the “wrong room”. Can you relate to that?

If you can relate to these things, then, next time you’re ready to enter into a situation or “room”, remember to check yourself – make sure it’s the right room, a place where you know you belong.

Until next time,