Four Words That Changed My Mindset

On a recent motorcycle trip back from Vermont, my buddy and I stopped for lunch at a Wendy’s in Boone, North Carolina. At first glance, the restaurant looked the same as the Wendy’s we have back home. But after a few minutes waiting in line, I noticed the cashier seemed different.

With great care and professionalism, she took the orders of a long line of customers in front of me. Her actions exceeded friendly. She was passionate about what she was doing, and it showed.

A short time later, she walked around the dining area asking patrons if they needed anything. This wasn’t the first time I had seen someone do this at a fast food place, but the experience felt unique.

While she was talking to the people at the table next to us, I heard her say these four simple words:

“I love my job!”

I was aghast. I was jealous. How can this be? She had plenty of reasons not to like her job: mediocre pay, odd hours, and a mandate to interface with unhappy customers. I knew I had to talk to her.

On my way out I walked over and told her I overheard what she had said. “Everyone in this place can tell you love your job by your attitude,” I told her.

“I really do love my job,” she exclaimed.

We both paused for a moment, as though we were thinking the same thing. Then I asked, “Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone loved their job?”

“It would change the world,” she replied.

I’ve thought about what happened that day many times, since. How can I use what I learned in my personal life? How can I have what she has? How can I love my job?

I believe with all my heart that loving something starts with a positive mindset. Tell yourself over and over an unpleasant food is tasty, and that food will taste better, over time. Choose to like the good parts of your job, and your job will become more satisfying, over time. Choose to focus on the positive aspects of your life, and you’re life will almost certainly feel more meaningful, over time.

The cashier at Wendy’s in Boone, North Carolina, reminded me of what I already knew, but sometimes forget. Life (at least some of the time) is what you make of it.

Instead of thinking about the things I don’t like about my job, I’m going to focus on the things I do. If she can love her job, so can I.