I just got back from visiting my dad in Pennsylvania over the holiday weekend. I took the train so that I could work on my book. An interesting thing happened during my travels yesterday and I thought I would share it with you.
I was sitting in the Philly station waiting for my next train which was due to arrive in 2 hours. A couple sat down next me, with what appeared to be a complete 8 piece matching floral print luggage set. The woman was clearly anxious. She kept figiting, standing up to look at the board displaying train details and then sitting down and making the same statements:
Where do we go to get the train?
I don't see any elevators. Do they have elevators?
I don't think the luggage will fit on the escalator, do you?
What if we don't have enough time to get on the train?
This went on for about 40 minutes, as I continued to read the latest issue of Fast Company magazine. Her husband was doing a pretty good job of ignoring her. I was trying to ignore how she was annoying me. I wasn't doing as good a job.
Her husband walks off and she now turns to me and starts asking me the same questions. I smile at her and let her know how boarding the train works (I won't bore you with the details.) She asks me several times about the luggage. Will it fit? Will they have enough time?
At that point, I suggest that she ask one of the Amtrak employees that has been standing about 15 feet away from us for the past hour. She pauses, looking at me, and then rolls into another long string of the same questions. When her husband finally came back, she got him to go and talk with the employee. He arranged for someone to come and cart all there luggage down to the train for them and it was over before you could blink an eye.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because it points out a reoccurring pattern of scarcity. That woman clearly had the Illusion of Struggle going on. Her inability to ask for help kept her in a state of constant anxiety for over an hour.
What caused her inability to ask for help? That's something we'll never know for sure. Yet it points to an issue around scarcity. That set of luggage really represented all the baggage this woman may have been carrying. I couldn't help thinking that she needed permission to go and ask for help. How interesting that a simple thing like boarding a train could be turned into a huge anxiety filled ordeal.
What could you ask for help with today that would lessen some of your struggle?