Friday, July 18, 2008

The Law of the Garbage Trucks

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day?

Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

I learned it in the back of a Harare city taxi cab. Here's what happened. I hopped in a taxi and we took off for Westgate. We were driving when all of a sudden a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

Here's what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any Zimbabwean, some words in Harare come with a special face.

Now, here's what blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did. I guarantee it.

So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favourite football players of all times, Ronaldinho, does this every day on the football field. With a smile he always jumps up as quickly as he hits the ground after being tackled. He never dwells on a hit. Ronaldino is always ready to make the next play his best. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.

Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.

What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? You'll be happier. I guarantee it.

Wonderful people are created by God. Wonderful moments are carefully planned by God. And wonderful friends like you are carefully chosen by God.

Tags: Law of Garbage Trucks, God, Harare, Taxi Driver



Blogger miss critical said...

well said.. long time ago I used to let Garbage trucks take over me.I mean I don scream or pull a long face when they cross over the line,I just put it all into my heart and I guess it burdens my heart.But I thank God that He took care of all the sadness,anger and grudges that I stored in me. ^_^...

^_^ garbage trucks..oh well i will keep them into my mind..

18 July, 2008 19:09  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

i still got lots to learn

18 July, 2008 23:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I'm still learning not be be taken over. My husband on the other hand, is the master of high EQ.
Thanks for sharing this. :)

19 July, 2008 02:20  
Blogger acura said...

Very well said. I often wonder why people turn into someone else once they are behind the wheel. Now I know why...they have a lot of garbage inside them

19 July, 2008 15:11  
Blogger Ted said...

Very inspiring post! Its human nature to burst into frustration and anger the moment you are wronged by somebody, but yea, must not be easily affected by others emotionally.

19 July, 2008 17:59  
Blogger Simon Ho said...

the Law of the Garbage Trucks is more effective than The Law of Attraction i feel. won't Malaysians be such wonderful people if they just obey this law and stop being haters?

19 July, 2008 20:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such a nice post...maybe that man who almost caused the accident felt so sorry about what he did...i think so...

20 July, 2008 19:52  
Blogger Balqiz said...

good advice!

20 July, 2008 19:56  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

wow didnt expect this article to generate so much of interest

its a good piece to remind us

23 July, 2008 11:06  

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