Friday, May 21, 2010

The Task at Hand

My friend Bill wrote a blog entry some time ago about the seemingly simple and ordinary task of changing the oil in his car. With just those few paragraphs, I learned a very important lesson about attitude that I still reflect on from time to time. As he finished his work, he stood back and was thankful that he could complete a job that he usually paid someone else to do. He found satisfaction and pride in working with his hands. He warmly remembered his father who had taught him how to have confidence in himself. A simple and ordinary task yes, but one that touched him on several different and meaningful levels. Bill helped me to see that if your attitude and spirit are open and receptive to the positive, you seem to take so much more out of every situation than if you approach everything in a grumbling and negative and let's-just-get-this-over-with manner.

The other day I was working in my yard on replacing the mulch in all of the landscaped areas. This is a very big job given the design and layout of my yard. The job took a lot out of me. Sweat, exertion, effort. Lots of grunting, groaning, grumbling. However, when I had finished the first half of the work, I took a few steps back to assess what I had done. It was precisely at that moment that Bill's words about attitude and spirit flooded back into my mind. As I surveyed my yard, I realized that I had done a pretty good job and things were turning out exactly as I had hoped. My negativity melted away in that moment and my spirit was uplifted. I went back to work and completed the job with a song on my lips and a great attitude. Thanks Bill for the lesson. (I miss you buddy.)