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Level Up!

Photo by: Edu Lauton

It's not often that my Monday quote is only two words, but this week it just took just two to express what I was feeling. I've been sending out my messages for the last several years, every week. At first, it was other people's thoughts that I found inspirational, however more and more I find that I have some of my own "downloads" that I feel compelled to share. Of course, there is a saying that there is nothing new left to express, but if we've never heard something stated a particular way, it feels novel and original and it certainly is to us.

It also tickles me how something I put "out there" on Monday draws in more thoughts and observations with a similar slant for the next several days. This week was no exception. As soon as I sent "Level Up" to my assistant as Monday's Quote, I started to read about and receive similarly expressed ideas. Tapping into the law of attraction and seeing these connections makes my Thursday blogette easy to pull together.

One of the first associations that crossed my desk was a quote from Zig Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker. This is what caught my eye:

Photo by: Bruce Mars

"It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude."

When I first felt moved to share the call to action, Level Up!, it was because I was frustrated watching women (people) around me "settle", stay small, and not aspire to more. Sometimes I catch myself not living up to my full potential and I have to give myself a pep talk (or, ask a good friend to help me out with that). It's not about taking another course or getting another certification ... it's about shaking off the put-downs (often coming directly from me toward myself!) and acknowledging my unique gifts that will give my life purpose.

Part of the way to dive into this is by cultivating a positive attitude. Studies have shown that "negative" people get sick more often, divorced more frequently, and make less money. It goes without saying that they are also not as happy. Abe Lincoln apparently struggled with melancholy and depression, yet one of his most famous quotes is "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be".

I'm going to end today's thoughts with a delightful story from Dr. Charles Garfield, clinical professor of psychology at University of California School of Medicine at San Francisco, and how he found an example of someone having a great attitude.

"If you've ever gone through a toll booth, you know that your relationship to the person in the booth is not the most intimate you'll ever have. I have been through every one of the seventeen toll booths on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge on thousands of occasions and never had an exchange worth remembering with anybody.

Late one morning in 1984, I drove toward one of the booths and heard loud music. It sounded like a party or a Michael Jackson concert. I looked at the toll both. Inside it, a man was dancing.

'What are you doing?', I asked. 'I'm having a party', he said. 'What about the rest of the people?' I looked over at the other booths; nothing moving there. 'They're not invited.'

I had a dozen other questions for him, but somebody in a big hurry to get somewhere started punching his horn behind me and I drove off. But, I made a note to myself: Find this guy again. There's something in his eye that says there's magic in his toll booth.

Photo by: Wojtek Witkowski

Months later, I did find him again, still with the loud music, having a party. Again I asked, 'What are you doing?'.

He said, 'I'm still dancing. I'm having the same party.' I said, 'Look, what about the rest of the people?'

He said, 'Stop. what do those [toll booths] look like? Vertical coffins and I can prove it. At 8:30 every morning, live people get in. Then, they die for eight hours. At 4:30, like Lazarus from the dead, they reemerge and go home. For eight hours, their brain is on hold. Dead on the job. Going through the motions.'

I was amazed. 'Why is it different for you? You're having a good time.'

'I knew you were going to ask that,' he said. 'I'm going to be a dancer someday.' He pointed to the administration building. 'My bosses are in there and they're paying for my training.'

Sixteen people dead on the job, and the seventeenth, in precisely the same situation, figures out a way to live. That man was having a party. He said, 'I don't understand why anybody would think my job is boring. I have a corner office, glass on all sides. I can see the Golden Gate, San Francisco, the Berkeley Hills; half the western world vacations here ... and I just stroll in every day and practice dancing."

This man knew how to Level Up and this is what I wish for you!


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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