Perspective is everything. While it may not immediately change the present, it certainly might change the future. When we are grateful for what we have, we usually will have more for which to be grateful. What that looks like is often better than what we imagine.
Recently, the company I work for advised, that if a sales goal was not met, I would receive a pie in the face. This pie would be placed on video and spread throughout the company and placed on social media. Because I understand, in some small way, human behavior and group dynamics, the email caused some pause for me. Somehow, it just did not feel right.
In an article from NPR on the rise of public officials getting “pied”, an anonymous member of a left-wing group doing the “pieing” said the following.
“It allows people to have a laugh at the expense of rich and powerful and otherwise unaccountable figures.”
In short, it is a way to humiliate people. The only thing worse than doing this to an unsuspecting political figure, is threatening to do this if you do not perform. I submitted my complaint to my supervisor. I worked toward the goal.
Before the work on the goal began, I did something else.
Because the goal was measured in one day, I only needed one day’s worth of positive thinking. I will worry about ideas like culture and compatibility during some hike, in some woods, on some future date. Basically, I decided to make the most of the day and look for greatness in all things. Here is what I found.
The team at the site where I was required to sell memberships works hard. The customers that come into the store are interesting and friendly. There are areas where we can improve and there are areas where we excel. Nothing about what I have done for four years has ever been about a number.
Ironically, because I do not worry for numbers, my numbers are good.
As I was standing by the payment portal, I heard someone call my name from across the parking lot. He used an almost questioning tone? When I answered yes, I also had to ask how I knew the gentleman. He began to tell me.
Two years ago, I offered him a free pass to try our services. He said he now had two memberships, his son had two memberships, and that he was grateful for the gift that day two years ago. We spoke for a few minutes and I gave him a business card. Two years is too long not to speak with someone who appreciates you. We appreciated each other.
While emptying trash cans, I spoke to an older woman wearing a boot on her ankle. From a casual “hello”, the conversation turned towards her surgeries, the loss of her mother, and how much she enjoyed being a member. We agreed that the world was crazy right now, but that there were good things also. We both seemed to understand that simple conversations help the world along.
When I saw a big, gray, truck pull up, I heard an older man say, “You look important (I did not)… you must be Kevin.”
It was a customer I had spoken to for over a year via phone. This gentleman originally called with a complaint about billing and quality, but also had positive things to say about our team. We speak from time to time about how well he and I are doing, how our families are doing, and what projects we have in the works. But until yesterday, I had never met the man in person.
As it turns out, I have been meeting sales goals for years. Of course, these methods cannot be measured for contests involving pie, but they can be measured by my heart. And when one goes looking for the greatness in all things, one does not use a spreadsheet, one uses the heart. For me, it was a good day, filled with many more good stories.
I did happen to squeak by the goal set by the company for the day, which will defer the great, “you cannot legally make me do that” debate. My hope is that the company understands that already, and is just awkward with how they believe they might motivate me. I am even looking for great things on a corporate level as well.
What I know with certainty, is this. Had I walked around pissing and moaning about what I thought was a ridiculous consequence, I would have missed all of the good things. I also know that the great things I saw are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great things in the world. It all begins with a quote (versions of which can be attributed to several authors).
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” – Wayne Dyer
Twenty years ago, I would have laughed at this suggestion. Five years ago, I would have thought it was some self-help mumbo jumbo. Turns out, this type of thinking can be traced back to Lao Tsu and the Tao Te Ching. Yesterday was proof positive for me that this statement is true.
Now for you (and me). We all get discouraged from time to time. Sometimes things seem out of place or like they are happening “to us” and not “for us”. Whether you believe in God, or Source, or Universe, you must believe in your existence, because you are here. What I am asking you to do here, is celebrate that, like it is hot fudge cake on a warm summer’s night. Like lemonade in the heat of the day. Like a kiss from your first love as you wonder if they care.
There are things to gripe about. There are things to celebrate. Today I am celebrating. Give it a try.
Our brains can do one thing at a time. The more things we celebrate, the less time we have to bitch and moan. That simple. Your life is the miracle.