How often do you let other people’s bullshit affect your mood? Do you let a nasty waiter, an abrupt supervisor, or an insensitive worker ruin your day? Do you let another driver irritate you while you drive?
Beware of garbage trucks — Reflections
Unless you’re the Terminator!
You have a brief period of annoyance. But what sets successful people apart is how quickly they can refocus on what matters most. Sixteen years ago, I discovered this lesson. I discovered it while riding in the back of a cab in New York.
I got into a cab and the two of us headed for Grand Central Station. We were in the right-hand lane when a black car pulled sharply out of the area ahead of us. The driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and narrowly avoided colliding with the other vehicle.
The driver of the other vehicle, the one that was about to collide with ours, turned his head and started shouting obscenities at us. The cab driver just smiled and bowed.
I then asked him, “Why did you do that?”. He nearly wrecked his vehicle and sent us to the hospital.
The garbage truck law
The cab driver then revealed to me what I now call “The Law of the Garbage Truck.”
Many individuals resemble garbage trucks. They carry a pile of garbage with them, along with their irritation, anger and disappointment. They need a place to dump their garbage as it accumulates. They will throw it at you if you let them.
Don’t take it personally when someone wants to dump their trash on you. Just wave, smile and say goodbye before moving on. You will regret not doing so.
I began to question how often I let garbage trucks run over me and how often I splashed other people with the trash they were carrying, at work, at home and on the street.
I decided to stop doing it that particular day. I started seeing numerous garbage trucks. I would check what they were carrying. I watched when they came to remove the garbage. I don’t take it personally anymore as my cab driver doesn’t either. I just nod, wave and say goodbye before moving on.
Walter Payton, one of the greatest soccer players in history, exhibited this daily. He would get up as soon as he was tackled and fall to the ground. He didn’t think much of it. Payton was prepared for the next play to be the best play.
Good leaders are aware that they must be prepared for their next meeting. Good parents know to hug and kiss their children when they get home from school.
Parents and educators realize the importance of giving their all to the people in their lives. Successful people don’t let garbage trucks rule their day.
How are you doing and what would happen in your life if you allowed more garbage trucks to pass you by without being affected by them starting today?
I’m sure you’d be happier
So, love those who treat you well. Don’t believe in those who don’t.
Affirm the notion that everything happens for a reason. Take advantage of opportunities that may arise. Allow yourself to change if something upsets your life. No one promised it would be easy. They simply affirmed that it would be worth it.
Be kinder than what is required, as all individuals you encounter are in conflict.