The Power of Perspective

Friday, August 26, 2011

I just finished saying- TGIF- when this story landed in my INBOX:  I hope you enjoy it and I hope you have a GREAT PERSPECTIVE!


The Power of Perspective

by John G. Miller
The QBQ! Guy 

I don't know about you, but from what I hear and read, people don't seem very happy nowadays. The economy is struggling, lots of folks are out of work, the stock market is dropping, and consumer confidence is in the tank. A brand new poll shows that 89% of Americans are unsatisfied with the way things are going in the United States. Meanwhile, our political "leaders" can only seem to point fingers at the media, whine about their bad luck, and attack each other.

Maybe it's those "dog days" of summer. Maybe we're just cranky. I don't know.

But I do know this: It's all about perspective. The truth is, for most of us, things could almost always be worse. The next time I think I'm having a bad day, I'm going to keep the following in mind ...

I had just finished a "Personal Accountability and the QBQ!" presentation at a banking institution in central Wisconsin where I'd talked about the dangers of blame, victim thinking, and procrastination when thirtysomething Wally walked up and told me a story. Later that day, he emailed it to me.

A few years ago I was a foreman in a manufacturing plant where I was responsible for nearly thirty workers. One of them, a likable fella who was six months away from retirement named Edward, had worked in the factory his entire life and was looking forward to his “golden years.” I knew that he'd undergone an angioplasty procedure so I wasn't surprised one day at quitting time when he told me he'd be going to see his heart doctor in the morning.

But then he added, "I'm not feeling quite right."

The next day I assumed he was at the doctor's so it was no surprise to me when Edward didn't show up for work. But I was totally caught off guard when I received a call from my boss informing me that Edward had experienced a heart attack that morning and collapsed on his driveway while shoveling snow.

He never made it to his doctor's. Nor to his golden years.

Edward was gone.

After my boss and I decided to hold off on a formal announcement till the next morning, I spent the afternoon in a fog, struggling to focus on my work. When my shift finally ended, I took the shortest route from my office to my car, which is through the men's locker room. There I heard the regular sounds of an entire shift of factory workers hurriedly showering and changing their clothes in an attempt to run to their cars and get home as fast as they could. As I made my way, I overheard a group making comments about how happy they were to be done with their shift. If not for the fact that I was still trying to come to terms with Edward’s passing just six months away from his golden years, the comment that I heard next may not have had such a profound impact on my life—I'll never know.

One of the guys shouted above the din, "The only good thing about today is that it brings me one day closer to retirement!”

Edward and his family came to mind.

It was at that precise moment in my life that I made the decision to live each day as positively as I can. Life is simply too short to live any other way.

"I made the decision to live each day as positively as I can"—I don't believe it can be said any better than that. Certainly, a tragic story for Edward and his family. Yet I thank Wally for sharing it because it helps me put lots of stuff in perspective.

If you've been feeling cranky lately, here's what I suggest:

Just ask The Question Behind the Question (QBQ) - "How can I make the most of today?"

Because we never know what a day will bring.

John G. Miller
The QBQ! Guy


Cheri Perry 8/26/2011

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