Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Have to" or "Get to..."

Folks who know me know what I endured over the six years between May 2008 and May of 2014. Those six years were devastating in a million ways. I tried a lot of things to rebuild my life. Everything from testing for my Insurance brokers license to washing windows. Door after door slammed shut in my face. I didn't have the option of quitting, because I have a daughter and she was watching. I was determined to not let her see me defeated. She saw me lose a lot of battles, but I stayed in there until I won the war. 
Since August of last year I have been employed by my alma mater, Liberty University. Now, that by itself is wonderful enough. Having a job is a great thing. Having a job where you went to college and in a place you call your second home is even better. But having a job where not only do you get the chance to make a difference and have an impact, but where that is encouraged...well that's just a dream come true.
The first two months were a little hard. I had been away from the corporate world for six years. I had not had co workers in that time. In fact -because of how I was forced to live during that period- I was isolated and alone and it took a re-acquainting period to get used to being around people every day. I know that sounds odd, maybe even unbelievable, but it's true. I felt a little intimidated and a little intruded-upon during those first few weeks. It's sad how we can become so insulated from each other that we see others as an intrusion, not as a blessing and as an opportunity.
But that's how I see everyone here now...as an opportunity. I have the opportunity to impact lives every day, simply by the way I carry myself in meetings, how willing I am to serve my customers here on campus, how readily I smile in the hallway, or even by picking up a scrap of paper laying on the ground and throwing it in the wastebasket.
You never really know who is watching you and who will be impacted by your life. I learned that from listening to the Phillies win the 2008 World Series while living in my car hidden behind a church in Nashville. I heard Harry Kalas call that last out, and while Harry never met me and didn't know my plight at the time, just the way he did his job made an impact in my shattered world.
I am determined that every person I come in contact with here will be positively impacted by being around me. I want to leave them smiling, warmed, and just a little happier to have met me. I want them to be happy when they see me step into their office and a little sad to see me leave. 
I've been here six months now and I have yet to have a "Dreaded Monday." Maybe I have six years of catching up to do. Or maybe I just appreciate having a career and a purpose so much, that I don't see a real difference between Monday and Friday.
You can have that too, and you don't have to be homeless for six years to do it.
You just have to look beyond the job you do and see the people you do it for. See them as opportunities to be an encourager, a friend, a good-finder and a listening ear. Do more than just your job.
 Here is a GREAT example of that. 

This man GETS IT! He's today's hero! 
You can be a janitor or a Senator, and you have the same opportunity to be a difference maker.
Your job is an opportunity. Make the most of it.
Play YOUR music at work. And play it LOUD!

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