The other day, I got an email from my friend David Devlin. He sent me a great story about treating people with dignity and respect. It’s called “The Law of the Garbage Truck. Check it out…
Law of the Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So...love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Pretty cool story, right? Being a Pittsburgh guy, the fight side of my flight/fight reaction is over developed. By nature, I choose to fight. However, as the garbage truck story indicates, fighting is usually not very productive. It tends to ruin your day and day of the people with whom you come into contact.
More important, it identifies you as someone with poor personal impact. People who create positive personal impact don’t fly into a rage at the slightest provocation. They smile and go on about their business – just the taxi driver in the story.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people create positive personal impact. People who create positive personal impact are impeccable in their presentation of self. They dress for success. And, more importantly, they conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates they respect both themselves and the people they meet. They don’t pick fights or respond in kind to rude behavior. Instead, they smile and go on their way. They love the people who treat them right, and pray for those who don’t.
PS -- I just came across a quote from Gandhi that sums up this post quite well: "The weak can never forgive. Foregiveness is an attribute of the strong." Think about it.
Bud Bilanich, The Common Sense Guy, is an executive coach, motivational speaker, author and blogger. Bilanich is Harvard educated but has a no nonsense approach to his work to goes back to his roots in the steel country of Western Pennsylvania.
blog comments powered by Disqus
I saw an interesting quote from my favorite playwrights, George Bernard Shaw, the other day. Mr. Shaw was very successful in his time -- and after. He died in 1950 at the age of 94, but his plays – he wrote more than 60 of them -- are still produced today.
“I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.”
At first glance I thought the quote, “I dread success" was a strange thing to say. But as I read the entire quote, I got it. Mr. Shaw makes an important point – success is a journey, not a destination.
Once you achieve success in one endeavor, or reach one of your goals, it’s important to set a new goal and reach even higher – or to enter “a state of continual becoming.” Mr. Shaw crammed a lot of success into his 94 years. He is the only person to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar.
I love the concept of “continual becoming.” About the time Mr. Shaw died, Abraham Maslow was creating his hierarchy of human needs. I’ll be brief here as I realize that you are probably familiar with the hierarchy.
The hierarchy suggests that as human beings, we have a series of needs that must be met before others come into play. Our most basic needs are physiological, things like our ability to satisfy our hunger and thirst, the ability to survive today. Once physiological needs are satisfied, human needs turn to safety and security, the ability to survive over the long term. Next, human beings have social needs, the longing for a sense of belonging and for love. Moving up the hierarchy, we come to esteem needs, things like recognition and status. Self actualization needs are at the top of the hierarchy.
In broad terms, Maslow defined self actualization as “being all that you can be.” Then he said that you can never be all you can be, because as soon as you reach one accomplishment, you will find that there is more to achieve. In other words, self actualization is “a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.”
The common sense point here is clear. Successful people are outstanding performers. Outstanding performers set high goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them. Then they set higher goals and achieve them. This is what Abraham Maslow refers to as “self actualization” and George Bernard Shaw calls “a state of continual becoming.” In other words, successful people don’t rest on their laurels, they are constantly looking for ways to do more and be more.
Outstanding performance is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to do three things. 1) Stay on top of your game by becoming a lifelong learner. 2) Set high goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them. 3) Get organized. Manage your time, life and stress well.
What does this mean for becoming an outstanding performer? Plenty. It means that you need to set high goals, and do whatever it takes to achieve them. Then you need to repeat the process again and again, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Outstanding performance is a lifelong commitment to goal setting and goal achievement.
blog comments powered by Disqus