I remember after quitting one of my first sales jobs, the sales manager pulled me to the side to have a quick talk before I left. He understood the position was not a match for me, which was fine.
However, in parting, the sales manager offered a kind handshake and left me with the following words as a gift of motivation.
He said, “Whatever you do, just work real hard and you will get wherever you want to go.”
Yesterday, I told you about my old sponsor Nick. He used to tell me to stay away from the drama. He also used to tell me that I needed to grow up in not as many words (and certainly not as kind.)
“Mind your own goddamned business,” was closer to it. I was younger then, immature, scared of my own shadow; therefore, I was easily intimidated and always looking for either an insult or the next intrusion.
Nick would tell me, “Grow up, already,” or he would shake his head and say, “Would you just stop it now?”
Herein lay some truly important lessons. Work real hard. Mind my own business. Stay away from the drama, which means avoid the rumor factories and avoid the gossip mills.
These are good things to do to avoid the daily chaos.
Years ago, there used to be a man that worked on the 10th floor of my building. He was physically challenged. Yet, he was the first to show up every morning. He worked hard. He was efficient. More importantly, he was inspirational to me. He never complained. He never wanted the intrusion of unsolicited help. He never wanted anyone’s pity. He worked for a bank, paid his bills, and he earned his own way.
Each morning, I saw him and said hello. I smiled and held the door for him sometimes. Asked, “How’s it going my man?” and he smiled back.
Because he knew my smile was not charity or condescending. It was real. In return, I received the same respect.
One morning, I was asked about this man. I was asked why I speak to him. Not that our interaction was so unusual but I waited for a while until the man was able to walk through the door or stopped until we could speak. His speech was somewhat impaired and his walking ability made his pace a slow one. But I was in no rush. In fact, and if I could, I would have waited longer until my friend could pass through the door to speak with me.
When asked by my less than sensitive co-worker, I explained, “You read the Bible sometimes, right?
“Yeah, and?” replied my “Born again” co-worker.
“Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” said my co-worker.
I explained, “See that man right there? He is far from the least.”
This man came to work every day. He never complained and never explained. He adapted. He overcame. And handicapped or not, this man had more fortitude than any I have ever met in my lifetime
So, let’s recap, shall we?
Work real hard.
Mind our own business.
Stay away from drama.
Avoid the gossip mills and the rumor factories.
Never allow us the idea that we cannot accomplish because of a defect or disability.
Hold the door open, not because you’re being condescending, but because it’s the human thing to do. And when you smile at someone, smile from the heart.
With me so far?
I have a new partner with me in the building trade. Keep in mind; I still keep my day job. I coach privately. I interact in the sober community. I maintain a family. I am affiliated with a wellness and recovery facility. I run a podcast. I do sober transports and on occasion I do out of state work. On top of this (or maybe I should say before all of this) I am a local 94 building engineer, which means I still work full-time and swing wrenches throughout the day.
My new partner is young. He is a good kid. He has a good heart. I see him as capable and in the future, I see him becoming more than he imagines.
Whenever he grabs a wrench and I see him struggling, I always tell him, “Johnny, you just have to mean it.”
I love that he smiles after I say this. I love that I see him try again. I love when he tries harder (and means it) and then the pipe starts to turn.
You just have to mean it, I tell him.
Such is life.
Whatever you do, do it.
Work real hard.
Stay out of your own way.
Focus on yourself.
Don’t quit on yourself.
It’s okay if things don’t go as planned but never give up.
Stay away from gossip and rumors.
Work real hard and you’ll get where you want to be.
Before leaving, I will offer you the kindness given to me by my friend Father Mike (Casualty #0001 9/11/01 at the W.T.C)
Sometimes when your head gets away from you, just sit for a second. Just sit quietly. Breathe. Settle down.
Father Mike once told me, “There is a plan for you, son.”
“Believe me.” he said.
“So have faith, kid.”
Faith . . .
Even in the bible it says faith without works is dead.
I believe this is James 2:22.
What this means is belief alone does not enter someone into The Kingdom.
However, I am not religious (just somewhat knowledgeable on the subject) but putting religion to the side, I think about this line often.
Faith without works is dead.
What is my faith without effort or work behind it?
My belief needs to be followed by effort. If I work real hard, it also pays to work smart as well; otherwise, I waste my energy.
And waste is wasteful.
Know what I mean?
There is a plan for us all.
I believe this.
I have the faith
I have the effort
And now my job is to go out and make it all so
What are your your plans for today?