I used to work as a Postie (Postman) and had to get up pretty early. It only took me around 5 mins to get there from where I lived, as there was no traffic that time of the morning. You would go in pick up your mail, sort it and bundle it up, ready for delivery. Then you would head outside on the bike to deliver the mail, getting paid to do exercise. If you finished early (which I almost always did) you would still get paid for the whole day. If you went over the allotted time you would get overtime pay. Either way, you were winning! I thought this was the dream job, but most of my colleagues didn’t seem to enjoy it. What was the difference between those who enjoyed it and those who didn’t? It wasn’t the conditions. It was a positive glass-half-full rather than half-empty attitude.
Before becoming a Postie, I was delivering bakery goods in the early morning to restaurants and cafes. It could have been easy to hate this job. I had to get up around 4 am in the morning. I had to drive 10 mins to pick up a truck, then drive another 20 mins to pick up the bakery goods. I had to deliver all the goods, then drive back to base. Pretty boring, right? Well, it depends on how you see it. There is no one around at 4 am in the morning, so you feel special. You get time to think about stuff without much noise. I decided to get up a little bit earlier and change the run so that I could miss some peak hour traffic and finish earlier. I enjoyed working there, but the company decided to downsize and I had to move on.
Before that job, I used to work for my old man. He had a car yard and I would groom (clean) the cars as well as general gofer duties. This was the opportunity to work in my father’s business because it was my inheritance, right? Wrong! I had no thoughts of that. I remember when I first started, I would have nightmares and be grooming cars in my sleep. I was getting a pittance of a wage. I could see no positives of working there. I felt like a slave. Was my dad really a slave master? Yes (well that’s a debate for another time, Pops). Nah, he was giving me an opportunity. But because I was young and dumb, I couldn’t or wouldn’t see it. This was my first job and I had a lot of growing up to do. Fortunately, for me, eventually, I decided I wanted to grow up.
The difference between those jobs isn’t that much really. They were all low paying, low skilled, low brain jobs (gee, that doesn’t sound I did much). The difference in attitude made all the difference in enjoying the work and life. I found opportunities came my way with having a positive attitude. When I was a Postie, I would get asked if I wanted to take a higher position. I didn’t want to as I loved being on the bike. Others didn’t get asked. I also found opportunities came up in church, in my businesses and other places.
Having a positive attitude hasn’t come easily to me. I still struggle with this. I’m not a happy go lucky kind of guy. I’m a very practical analytical person and tend to think deeply and slowly (too slowly at times) about things. This can mean I am very critical. I have to watch myself. You can make the choice to have a positive attitude. Your circumstances don’t have to dictate how you will respond. You can decide to think the best of people and make the most of the opportunities that come your way.