On Success on the Far Side of Fifty I often try to get my point across in creative and innovative ways.
Admittedly this post could be considered a little less positive than the majority of my writing but I hope you will also see the humour with which it was intended. This post it is as real and honest as anything I have ever done.
It is with caring and respect that I send this message out to all the people in the world who go through life thinking that everyone else is the problem.
“If you run into a jerk in the morning you ran into a jerk. If you run into jerks all day long then you’re the jerk.”
I stole this from a television series called Justified and it is a quote from Marshall Raylan Givens. If you want to hear Raylan say the actual line click THIS link. When I first heard the quote it made me smile and it still does. I guess I have a taste for sarcastic humour.
But I like the quote more for its relevance and honesty than it’s humour. Some days when I am going about my day-to-day business I run across a person who I would legitimately describe as a jerk. You know them; the people with a chip on their shoulder who generally seem to have a problem with the world. But it is my perspective that most jerks are really decent people who are having a bad day.
“If you run into a jerk in the morning, you ran into a jerk.”
But other days I seem to run across people all day long who are rude, irritating and obnoxious.
“If you run into jerks all day long, then you are the jerk.”
Over the years I have come to accept the fact that there are jerks in the world, but I most certainly don’t want to be one. On those rare days when I seem to run into lots of people who are testing my patience I remember Raylan’s quote and pause and reflect. I ask myself, “are they the real source of the problem them or is it me?”
Unfortunately on occasion I am most certainly the problem.
To be honest I try to live a life where I am a decent example for other people. But like anyone else I also have my off days and it’s those off days when I can be grumpy, impatient and irritable.
As a brief bit of explanation I am a focussed and motivated person who wants to do great things for the world. The down side of my energy and focus and energy is I don’t handle delay as well as some other people and this displays with occasional impatience and irritability,
One good part of being a man on the Far Side of Fifty is that I am fairly good at recognising when I am off my game. On those rare days I do three things;
1.) I take a few minutes and engage in a mini meditation. Usually I don’t need more than four or five deep breaths to focus my mind, relax my body and get a better point of view of the world.
2.) I engage in a few moments of physical exercise. Anything works, a short walk, a brief stretch or even running up a flight of stairs.
3.) When I need to apologize I do it immediately and I do it well.
My goal behind these three steps is to get myself back on my best possible behaviour as soon as I possibly can. A huge part of building a tremendously succesful life is learning to recover from mistakes, missteps and errors and through long experience I know these three steps do the trick for me.
As you go through your days and you have the occasional negative interaction with people you meet I invite you to ask you to consider the following question:
Did you run across a jerk or are you being the jerk?
Thanks for reading and as always have a fantastic week. Please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email.
By the way check out the series if you like old-fashioned cop shows. It one of my favorites series of all time.