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A Surprise to Remember…

…My Delightful Experience of the Unexpected

When was the last time you were surprised and delighted? When do you dwell on what makes you happy and grateful? Living in today’s world is exhausting and draining for many. The news reports distressing and depressing stories from all around the world in a non-stop 24-hour cycle. The news sensationalizes tragedy which feeds our brains natural tendency to focus on the negative. Humans have relied on this tendency, to survive for thousands of years. Even though living in a heightened state of awareness can keep us alive in the short-term, it can also cause hypertension, anxiety, and many stress related problems in the long-term. This is why focusing on gratitude and positivity is so important. This is also why individuals and leaders who exude positivity and graciousness are in such high demand. They are a rare commodity

Recently I was traveling to speak to an organization in La Jolla, California. I was also meeting a coaching client located in Solano Beach. I booked a hotel in Del Mar to be close to both these meetings. The property was an older Hilton spa and resort. Contrary to the normal news stories of the day, I am happy to report several good experiences of my stay. The valet was friendly and helpful. One day we were having trouble finding the gym because they had moved during remodeling. I asked an engineer for directions, and instead of telling us where it was, he escorted us to the location. My wife and I exercised and returned to our room. She started getting ready for dinner and I was working at the desk. I heard a knock at the door. My first thought was, “what is wrong, was there a problem with my reservation? Etc.” (confirming our bias for the negative) Instead I was met by a woman with a tray of food. Next, I thought there was a mistake because I had not ordered room service. As she stood in the corridor holding a tray of treats, she was trying to gift me I noticed there was a card next to the food, with a note addressed to me. I finally let the lady talk.

She said the manager, Joe Kuhn, had seen my wife and I working out at the gym and recognized me. I had done some training with his teams when he was the manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown several years ago. This woman now at our door was the banquet manager and I finally let her in the room with the beautiful tray of food. She said, we notice you like to be healthy so we thought you would like some healthy food. I remembered Joe, and I followed her back to the lobby to see Joe. Joe is one of those individuals and leaders who exude positivity. I was so happy to see him again. His kindness surprised and delighted my wife and me. His team at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar are learning from one of the best hospitality leaders in the business.

Joe Kuhn, General Manager San Diego Del Mar Hilton and Spencer Horn

I would love to hear how someone surprised and delighted you.

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