Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's All in the Approach

I was thinking today how much I love my local library. Except it's not really my local library. It belongs to the next borough over, but it rocks compared to my little local dinky one. The only drawback for me was the dimly lit parking lot, excessive amount of stairs leading to the main door, and lack of easy access to the book return. Until I discovered . . .


Hard to believe a little thing can make such a difference but I have doubled my library time since discovering this other entrance. I feel much safer going at night now. I don't have to worry about accidentally parking in the Township Auditor's parking space. I don't have to climb icy stairs in the winter and the drop box is right around the corner from where I park. The library didn't change one bit, but my approach did and that has made all the difference.

Skilled athletes of most any sport will tell you the key to success is all in the approach. In golf, a sport in which I do not excel, in spite of having taken lessons and hit gazillions of buckets of balls, I know that your stance is everything. If you don't take the time to set up properly, you're a gonner before you ever swing. The same holds true for baseball, basketball and football. I could never quite execute a lay-up in basketball, mostly because I couldn't master the footwork leading up to it. My approach was more like "step, step, trip, hoist the ball up towards the basket in one last desperate attempt" than the symmetry of motion by someone like Michael Jordan. By the way, of all athletic moves, I can't think of anything more beautiful than a well-executed lay-up! It's why I sit fixated to the TV throughout March madness.

Anyways, it's occurred to me recently that our approach is key to success in every area of life. Recently I was assigned to a new position at work; same job, different region, different tasks, different partner. Honestly, I hated it. I dreaded going in every day. I wondered what problem is waiting to jump out and scare me. What customer was going to rip my lips off. What customer I've neglected to bill or what I did wrong on the billing I did remember to do.

While I still don't LOVE the job, and quite honestly am about maxed out on my stress level, I'm learning something. Coming in to work expecting things to go wrong just about guarantees something will go wrong. I don't get it, but I'm learning that if I approach the day with an open mind (which for me basically equates to listening to praise & worship music on the way to work instead of thinking about work), my day goes much better. Besides that, listening to some of the complaining that seems to come with the territory is teaching me to just SHUT UP! Amazingly enough, complaining never seems to change anything anyways!

I know - approach isn't everything. Follow through is just as important, in sports as well as our attitude. Some days I feel like it all starts going downhill about 9:00 am, but hey - at least my day started off a bit better, and we can always work on follow through, right?

How about you? How's your approach? Do you dread holidays and dealing with the in-laws? Are you stressing prematurely over the start of your child's new school year? Maybe, like me, it's time to work on your approach!


Susanne said...

What a great post and so true! If I start my day with the Lord things just go different. I may still face the same things but I seem to handle them better. My hubby works in customer service and billing too so he can so relate to where you said about just "shutting up".

Stacy said...

Great post. You got me at the library at the beginning and really hit home by the end. I do stress about a lot of things that I really shouldn't stress about. I *should* work on my approach to them and my expectations :)

Have a wonderful day!

Jennifer said...

Hey--you fixed yourself up, right? Or maybe it's because I'm on my firefox now and not Dad's IE browser.

This isn't really the meat of the post, but I was wondering how many people use multiple libraries like I do. I'm right in between two of them and go to both--depending. . .