Perspective shifts can be brought to bear in a number of ways, and some of them turn out to be positive while others are negative. We can quite literally be hit on the head and wake up a completely different person. However, most of us find our perspective shifting gradually on a long-term basis, while the sudden life-altering shifts are few and far between.
Recently I had the pleasure of engaging in a “working vacation”, a few lines of latitude to the north of home (Hollywood) in Daytona Beach Florida.
One night, I picked up a gentleman and drove him to a poker game at the casino near the airport. He talked about having low vision and the difficulties it presented with regard to playing the game – but he loved playing, so he wasn’t going to let it stop him.
He also said something that really hit home with me: he told me about a local female driver who often showed up to take him where he needed to go: and she was always complaining about her life. Furthermore, her appearance was sloppy – a fact which must have been pretty glaring in order for a man with poor vision to notice!
It made me think about my ratings and tips, and my own behavior and appearance. He was right – as a driver, it’s not my place to burden my passengers with my problems. Whether it be from attitude or words, we can smile and limit conversations to the “light and fluffy” unless asked to engage in heavier dialogue, and quite frankly – we should tread with caution in that realm. The fine art of diplomacy is well worth learning and practicing.
While I can’t say that I’ve suddenly become a better person, during the conversation with my insightful passenger, the seed was planted for me to choose a course of action which is leading to a much-needed change. Sometimes a catalyst helps us to break free of a rut and get moving from a stagnant life pattern.
I’ve started by making a conscious attempt to be friendly, chipper and cheerful as much as my passengers will allow (some of them are grumpy and just want to vent, others prefer an awkward silence…) and yesterday when I wore different clothing, I actually got a couple of $5 tips. I also had two others say that they hoped they would ride with me again, and that it had been a pleasure to have met me.
I think I’m on the right track.
So here’s me, raising a glass to toast positive change. What about you? Have you recently made or begun to contemplate some changes in your life? I’d love to hear about them, whether you share them in the comments below or email me through the site’s contact form to chat privately.