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It Isn’t What You Have, Who You Are, Or What You Are Doing…


Have you ever heard the old parable about the three men laying bricks?  When asked what they were doing, the first man said he was laying bricks.   The second man said he was building a wall.  The third man said he was building a cathedral.  Funny, three men doing the same job but looking at it differently.  The first man had a job.  The second man had a career.  The third man had found his calling, his reason.

John F. Kennedy shared a story where he was visiting NASA when he saw a janitor mopping the floor.  He asked the janitor what his job was at NASA, and the janitor replied, “I’m sending a man to the moon.”  What an inspiring response that shows that we all play our part and that life is is not really about what we are doing, what we have, or who you are.  It is about what you think about it.

Is It Good Or Bad?

Shakespeare said, “Nothing in this world is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  How insightful.   It tells us that we can control how we view any situation.  Whether we are laying bricks, mopping a floor, or sitting in a “boring” assembly, we can control how we experience it.  

Most people like going to big professional events.  You know the professional ones where you have to battle traffic, parking, and the myriad of personality types you will encounter.  When asked if I wanted to go to a professional game or show, I would typically say yes when I really wanted to say no.  Though I would love the experience of the live event, I use to dread all the negatives.  And for me, the negatives outweighed the positives.  But I would always go, just to be involved.

How About That School Assembly

Have you ever had to go to an assembly or event for your child at school, but kinda didn’t really want to?  Were you thinking the assembly would be pretty boring and you could not do the 100 things you needed to do instead?  Or maybe you just felt like relaxing after a long day, but now you have to go to an assembly and try to stay awake?  This can be tough, especially when you think about the experience that way.  I wouldn’t want to go to the assembly if I had those things on my mind either.

It’s All How You Think About It

I have found that when I change the way I look at something, many things are much more fun and purposeful.  For example, all the negatives associated with the big professional events.  Now, instead of dreading the traffic and parking, I embrace it.  I see it as a worthy cost for a great time with family and friends.  I don’t go to many professional events, maybe one every year or two.  If I have an average of about 30 more years of life, that means I only have 30 more professional events to experience.  They are rare, so I seize them when I can and I look forward to the entire experience, fully expecting traffic and parking.  Not a big deal any more.

And those assemblies and school events.  There may be three or four gatherings at the school for your child each year.  That is roughly 36 chances to experience your child and their efforts at school.  Those 36 chances will go by fast, and, if you miss them, one day you will want them back.  When they are adults, you will want to think back to when they were kids and seeing them in assemblies and school events.  There aren’t many chances to do that, so seize them and experience your child as they grow.

Happy Or Sad?  It’s Your Choice!!!

You can be as happy or as sad as you want.  You can be like the first brick layer, who has a job and dreads going to work every day.  Or you can be like the third bricklayer who is inspired by his work and his purpose, thus building a brighter future.  The same thing can be viewed many different ways and you have a choice.  If you work at NASA and are mopping the floors, you can choose to be part of a team sending a man to the moon, or it can be you against “the man” fighting for your paycheck and a raise.  Again, you have a choice.  Which choice will you make?

Final Thoughts

Life is what you make of it.  I know you have heard that before but it is so true.  You have a choice to see the glass as half empty or half full.  You can see the bad in what you have, who you are, or where you are going, or you can see the good.  From experience, I can tell you that seeing the good in everything leads to a happier life.  If you want to make a minute seem like an hour, look for the bad in what is happening, and that is what you will get.  But if you look for the good, every minute will quickly passes, and the time will fly by.

I know it can be difficult to always see the good, but make it a habit.  Work at it daily.  You can slowly rewire your brain to see the good in everything, instead of the bad.  As you practice this, it will get easier and easier.  Start today and watch how much your life can change for the better!!!

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