Dry Cleaning Your Attitude Can Change Your Whole Perspective

English: "General George Washington at Tr...

George was certainly inspirational, but so is the clerk at my dry cleaner.

I don’t like anything I write.  I am not sure if everyone else has that same problem or not, but it is mildly annoying from a planning perspective.   I try to write a few posts on the weekend when I have more time so that I can use them during the week when I have less time.  It is a great theory, but it rarely works out.  The posts I write over the weekend rarely end up getting used because when I look back at them I realize that I don’t like them and I elect to write something new.  I don’t like what I write during the week either, but at that point I am up against the deadline so I have to post.  Once it gets posted and I get a few comments, then I start to get a little more comfortable with what I wrote.  Am I the only one that has trouble writing well in advance of their self-imposed posting deadlines?  The night before is about the earliest I can write a post that is likely to actually get posted. 

I share all that with you because I had a presidential post prepared for today.  I had a quote by Washington and a few thoughts on what I valued about his leadership style,  but I am not going to post it.  Instead, I feel like writing about perspective so that will be our topic of discussion for today.

Sometimes my attitude sucks and I need to someone to help change my perspective.  This weekend was one of those times.  I knew I had to travel today, so I was running around getting a few things done before I left town.  My attitude was not great because I was not really looking forward to the trip.  Nothing bad is going to happen to me on the trip (at least I don’t expect anything bad to happen).  I am flying up to Indianapolis for a few meetings then shooting back to sunny Florida after a few days.  A pretty routine trip actually.  I was dreading having to sit in the airport and waiting to get on the plane.  Dreading the being on flight and having to inevitably sit next to the crying baby that has become standard on every flight I take.  Finally I was dreading sitting in meetings for the next two days.  All and all I would say that my attitude sucked.

With my mind full of dread on Saturday, I set off to pick up my dry cleaning.  I like the young lady that normally helps me at the dry cleaner.  She is always polite and she appears to be a very diligent worker from what I have seen.  When I came in she immediately went and retrieved my nicely pressed shirts and pants, but then she very apologetically explained that the stuff I was dropping off would not be ready until Tuesday.  I told her that would be no problem as I had to travel this week anyway, so I likely would not be back in until the following weekend.  Her eyes lit up instantly.  She wanted to know where I was going, everyplace I had been, and wanted to hear exactly how excited I was to be making this trip. 

In an instant my whole perspective changed.  I was thankful to have a job.  I know a lot of good people that don’t have jobs right now.  I was thankful to have an employer that gives me the opportunity to travel.  Yes, there are down sides to travelling but like anything in life, the experience is what you make of it.  I have had some wonderful adventures, met fantastic people, and I have gotten to see just about every major city in the U.S. as well as many more exotic locales.  I have done things that this young clerk had only dreamed of and here I was dreading having to do it again.  Shame on me.

I spent several more minutes telling her of some of the places I had visited.  I was at my storytelling best, and she clung to every word.  When I left, I left with a far better attitude than I came in with.  I left inspired, I left humbled, and I left appreciative.  People pay big money to go to seminars to feel like I did at that moment, and I got those feelings for free with my dry cleaning.

Your homework for today is to simply take a moment to appreciate what you have and to embrace the opportunities that lay before you.

Ever have a moment like I had at the dry cleaner, where your whole perspective changed in an instant?  If so, I would love to hear about it.

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