Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Deck Maintenance and Shaping a Brilliant Career

I'm looking out my office window right now at an unfinished deck. My in-laws are in town helping my wife and I replace wood that had either rotted away or was on its way to. Working on the deck has been an adventure for me; I'm learning skills that I have not learned before and taking part in tasks that I, until this point, never have. Last night I dreamed of radial saws and 2 x 6 pieces of wood. To me, the act of building is a whole new world, and not necessarily a world I want to delve more into. I have never considered myself a handyman (though I have a lot of respect for those that are) and working on the deck was an opportunity for me to spend time doing something I don't enjoy while simultaneously screwing it up. Double-whammy. It has to be done, though; a deck doesn't maintain itself.

Our deck came with the house we purchased. Isn't that a funny thought? We buy a house and-BOOM!-there's a deck. We tend to take for granted how we procure things. We can go to the store and buy nearly anything that we want without much thought or consideration of where it came from. Real people-whether in this country or elsewhere-put time and effort into creating, an act that deserves much respect and reverence. Real people built my deck.

But just like those people, we are creating, too; through our lives and specifically through our work. I ride the bus to work every morning, and my morning bus driver is a wonderful, upbeat individual. "Hello! How are you this morning, sir!" is what I'm greeted with when I get on the bus. I love his positive attitude and how chipper he is. He's creating an enjoyable experience for me as a bus passenger. And note that this enjoyable experience isn't necessarily a critical component of his job; his job is to get me to my destination safely and on-time. But he creates much more through his attitude. I know I'm not the only bus passenger who appreciates it.

We choose our attitudes; they don't choose use. It's a fact. And from that attitude comes how we approach our work. Was I going to approach the deck with a bad attitude or with the attitude of my bus driver? How do you you approach the work that you do? Reflect upon the questions below and let them influence you at work this week:

Do I approach what I do from a positive attitude? If so, why? If not, what is holding me back?

What more can I do in my current role that will further my career?

How do I use my current role to create in a brilliant way?

When was the last time I truly please someone in my current job? What did it feel like, and how can I create that moment again?

Now...there is a deck outside that deserves the pleasure of my attention.

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