Sunday, August 22, 2010

A penny for your thoughts?

I made the first traffic light as the delivery truck pulled out of the way a few seconds before the yellow light. Then a second, a third light, and soon the thought of "lucky day" popped to mind. As I merged onto the interstate there was little traffic. It was odd for early morning. The sky seemed just a bit bluer, the clouds more crisply white. This felt like a lucky day.



I was driving to a meeting with Chad Vail the new Executive Director of Junior Achievement. I was on time. The meeting went well. We quickly worked our way through the introductions, the description of how young people benefit from Junior Achievement, and finally, dove deep into the heart of the matter: How do we energize the Board and step up the fundraising? A plan began to fall into place. Chad ended the conversation with a thank you and "now I remember why I fell in love with Junior Achievement in the first place...thanks for boosting me up...thanks for getting me excited again."

Wow, lucky day. My GPS system found a short-cut back to the interstate. I made another traffic light. I had an odd thought. I wondered what if everyone, everywhere, at that precise moment was having a "lucky day?" It is all about attitude, I thought. It felt like a lucky day because I noticed all the good things...the fluffy clouds, the traffic, the traffic lights. Not only that, my luck was contagious. Chad Vail now was having a good day too.

As I merged onto the interstate I saw two cars pulled over on the shoulder. "Looks like it just happened...an accident." the play-by-play commentator in my head said. As I passed by I saw out of the corner of my eye a man walking back from the car behind with his head in his hands. It was the perfect movie shot of a man in despair.

It is not all about attitude. Why do we let these little aphorisms drive our lives? "Attitude is everything" blames you for having a bad day...and lets you somehow take too much credit for the good days. It also blinds you to what those around you are going through.

I missed the next two traffic lights and felt good about it.

Lucky day, I thought, I just lived the perfect example of why getting out of your own head is so hard.

Perhaps I can turn that thought into an aphorism. Suggestions?


1 comment:

Chad said...

So are you asking, “Does a positive attitude allow the latitude to enjoy life’s platitudes with gratitude?”

Thanks for the invaluable insight George - I look forward to maximizing each of the opportunities you shared, and will keep you updated on our progress.

Chad