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Lesson From A Balloon

Let’s face it, work is work.

No matter who you are, getting things done will cost you time, hard work and persistence.

A very well-known person, who was once my boss, responded this way when I complained about doing “menial” work:

“Most of life consists of rolling up your sleeves.”

I kept in touch with her and many years later learned that she endured and overcame not one brain tumor but two.

That former boss is my mentor not because she is brilliant, which she is, but because she taught me to have a good attitude.

Unfortunately in the government–just like outside it–some people will always look at life negatively.

To them, it’s more realistic to be angry, depressed, and hopeless.

“Why kid yourself?” they say. “If you don’t expect anything, you’ll never be disappointed.”

Over the course of my career I have worked with people who just did not value me.

No matter how hard I tried to make them do so, it just did not work.

But somehow, a strange thing happened.

The more negative they got, the more they dug their heels in, the more I reacted with good cheer.

Believe me this wasn’t being a smartass.

It was more like a mode of survival.

Confronted with misery, my brain switched into cheerleader mode.

Until one day somebody asked me, straight out:

“What are you so happy about? Seriously, are you high?”

Since that time I’ve worked with lots of other people.

Some of them utterly miserable, some of them incredibly positive.

Most are a mix of the two.

You know how you spend your time, sometimes, thinking about how you failed at a thing, and how you could have done better?

It has always bothered me that I could not turn those particular people around.

But the consolation prize is to know that there is an inner life raft.

Your attitude in life absolutely determines your reality.

If you decide that you will take a lesson from every single thing in life, then nothing and no one will ever be able to truly drag you down.


All opinions my own. This blog is hereby released into the public domain. Photo via Wikipedia.

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