Friday, October 12, 2007

Beware of Garbage Trucks

Beware of Garbage Trucks

by David J. Pollay

 

How often do you let other people's nonsense change

your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt

boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless

you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably

set back on your heels. However, the mark of a

successful person is how quickly he/she can get back

her focus on what's important.

 

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it

in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what

happened.

 

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central

Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all

of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space

right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his

breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end

by just inches!

 

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused

a big accident, whipped his head around and he started

yelling bad words at us.

 

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I

mean, he was friendly. So, I said, 'Why did you just

do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us

to the hospital!'

 

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now

call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

 

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 if you let them,

they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on

you, don't take it personally.

 

You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

You'll be happy you did.

 

So this was it: The 'Law of the Garbage Truck.' I

started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks

run right over me? And how often do I take their

garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at

home, on the streets? It was that day I said, 'I'm not

going to do it anymore.' I began to see garbage

trucks. I see the load they're carrying. I see them

coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I

don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave,

wish them well, and I move on.

 

One of my favorite football players of all time,

Walter Payton, did this every day on the football

field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the

ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit.

Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next

meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome

their children home from school with hugs and kisses.

Teachers and parents know that they have to be fully

present, and at their best for the people they care

about.

 

The bottom line is that successful people do not let

Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you?

What would happen in your life, starting today, if you

let more garbage trucks pass you by?

 

Here's my bet.

 

You'll be happier.

 

So.. Love the people who treat you right.

Forget about the ones who don't.

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