A few months before I even knew my Prince Charming existed, my iPod broke. I kept setting up appointments at the Genius Bar to get it replaced through the warranty. But each time I kept canceling my appointments because of my overbooked schedule. Finally one morning, after enduring yet another boring musicless work out, I decided to head to my Genius Bar appointment to get my ears on a new working iPod.

However, when I handed the Genius my broken iPod, he examined it and said: "Sorry, there's a scratch on the bottom so it's no longer covered under warranty."

"But that scratch has nothing to do with the iPod not working," I explained. "It went dead in my speaker system. That scratch is simply from carrying it around for months in my Mary Poppins-esque tote." (Note: I call my tote this because there's always so much stuff jumbling around within it.)

"Sorry," the Genius told me. "The scratch nixes your warranty."

"Can I speak to your manager?" I asked with a smile.

The Manager came over and I immediately experienced déjà frustration. I was told due to that tiny scratch, my plans to retrieve a shiny new iPod were now verboten.

"If you want to file a complaint," offered the manager, "just fill out these forms and I'll forward them onward."

I stared at the sheaths of paperwork he attempted to hand me and could feel myself entering into The Curmudgeon Zone. I was surprised. After all, I am a best-selling self-help author. I shouldn't be sweating this small stuff. I asked myself: "What would I coach a client to do?"

"You know what?" I said to the manager. "I intuit I'm not going to be getting a new iPod, and that's okay. I don't want to frustrate myself or you further. You're just doing your job as you've been instructed about that warranty. I'm not going to fill out that paperwork, because I don't want to think about this iPod thing anymore. I'm going to leave the store now and go on to have a happy day. And I wish you a happy day, too."

The manager and I exchanged warm smiles. I headed out the door.

But when I got outside, it seemed I not only left the store with my broken scratched iPod, but a broken scratched mood. I was still feeling curmudgeony. So I consciously decided to live up to my promise to the manager and choose to have a happy day.

Following instincts can change your world


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