Saturday, February 28, 2009

Learning While I'm Earning!

Not much that might be considered exciting happens on the rural route I travel in the wee hours of the morning. The three hours spent in my car delivering papers each day provides me with lots of time to be alone with my thoughts. Not that I spend every minute thinking profound thoughts; the other day I spent the entire 3 hours with Britney Spears’ new song “Womanizer” running through my mind like a broken record. But some days I do have some good ideas. Well, good may be being a little too generous… we’ll call them interesting ideas. Deciding to write this Blog is definitely one of my more inspired ideas.

I don’t solely spend my time thinking, I listen to the radio and lately I’ve been listening to audio books. I told my husband (to justify all the audio books I’ve been begging, borrowing and buying) that since I’m out there doing this job that really doesn’t require any deep thought beyond making sure I don’t miss delivering to any customers or drive into a ditch, that I may as well be getting smarter while doing it. My motto has become, “learn while I earn!” I have no conclusive evidence to prove that I am getting smarter, but I sure am learning bunches of stuff I didn’t know before. I’m becoming much more introspective and have a strong desire to use this experience to better myself. I’ve already listened to “Wisdom of Forgiveness”, “The How of Happiness” and “The Davinci Code” to name a few. The next novel I’m planning to listen to is “Pride and Prejudice” right after I’m done listening to The Teaching Company’s course on Buddhism. My favorite book of the ones I’ve listened to so far is “Quiet Strength” by Tony Dungy. I have learned so much about myself and the type of person I really want to become by listening to his words. What left the most lasting impression on me was something he tells his players- no excuses, no explanations, just do what we do. He’s instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability in his football players that carries over to more than just the football field. Mr. Dungy holds himself to these standards and expects the people he surrounds himself with to emulate this quality.

I’ve seen this character trait in many of the people I admire and I’ve seen the opposite in people I do not respect nor admire. As I muddle through my days in a sleep deprived haze, I try to remember those words and I have trained myself to pause before answering questions which are directed toward something I’ve done or neglected to do and I think- No excuses, no explanations. I accept responsibility for every choice I make, right or wrong. To blame others for your lot in life is like blaming your obstetrician for the color of your child’s hair.

I also remember to stay the course, no matter how unfulfilled or dissatisfied I am with my current situation. I give it my best and do what I do. After all, I’m where I am because of the choices I, and I alone, have made. Why do anything if you aren’t going to put forth your best effort. If more people heeded this advice today we would have many less victims and many more successes. If we all made the conscious decision to accept responsibility for our actions and inactions, stop blaming others for our misfortune, and gave every endeavor our best effort… WOW, imagine the things we could accomplish!

Perhaps I’m not getting noticeably smarter while delivering newspapers, but I am learning a lot about myself and human nature. When I wake up late and am unable to deliver by the appointed time or I miss a customer, I apologize whole-heartedly and blame no one. I deliver diligently and accurately making sure every paper arrives on time, dry and undamaged because this is my job and I want to do it to the absolute best of my ability- that is what my customers are paying for. By the time I am through with paper delivery and have moved on to my next adventure, what ever it may be, I plan to have all the tools at my disposal to be a great success in all of my future endeavors, starting with the tools of responsibility, accountability and industriousness.

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