I have done a lot of waitressing in my life. And the amazing thing is, I woke up this morning, having had a classic “waitressing nightmare” which I haven’t had for years! I am sure you can relate this to whatever your job is. I am talking about those nightmares where nothing goes right. In my case, the kitchen was about ¼ mile away. I couldn’t get there. Everybody needed something. I was running. I was frantic. I was NOT centered and I woke up thinking, “I cannot deal with this stress !”
Then on my walk today, I remembered one of the best bosses I ever had, who gave me a great piece of advice. He said, “Whenever you are walking through the dining room, be sure to look around and make eye contact with everyone as you go by. You might save yourself a few trips that way.”
I remember it really stopped me in my tracks. I thought, “I am so fixated on getting to the kitchen, to pick up whatever it is that I ordered, that I pay absolutely no attention to what’s around me.” And so often, when I came back with my order, so many people needed something and I indeed would have saved myself another trip or two.
It occurs to me now that this is an analogy to our lives. It’s great to have goals, follow our dreams, our values and our purpose.
But I think sometimes we get too rigid. We get so fixated on the end result, that we forget to look around us, as we’re on our journey towards that goal. And in doing so, I think we may miss many opportunities.
There might be people trying to get our attention, saying “Hey! Hey! I don’t need anything but I think I have something YOU might need.” But we are so fixated on that goal that we either brush them off – “No, I’m OK. I’ve got it handled.” – or we don’t see them at all! I think the latter is probably most often the case.
So I leave you with this thought: As you make your way to the kitchen, stop and look around, and make eye contact with everyone around you.
And see – what miracles – happen.