We have an award-winning little restaurant here in our community by the name of Stoby’s that is just down the street from the University of Central Arkansas. They went through a devastating fire some time back, but they have rebuilt and are stronger than ever.
One day a while back I met my friend, Dr. Larry Pillow, for breakfast at Stoby’s. While I was sitting there waiting for him to arrive, I began to observe a waitress named Betty, who later came over to take our orders, and she was good! The place was almost packed and she warmly greeted new people who came in the door while refilling coffee cups, taking orders and delivering food to others, seemingly all at the same time.
The thing that impressed me about Betty is the fact that she had no wasted motion. We all have seen waitresses who make a dozen trips back and forth, and while they get the job done, you can tell that it is a struggle. Not so with Betty. It was almost like she could do the job in her sleep. When she returned a few minutes later with my check, I asked her, “Did anyone ever tell you that you are a natural?” Before she could answer I went on to say, “I believe you have found your calling.” At this point she went on to say, “Seems like I have been doing this all my life.” When I was back a few days later and we had a little more time, she told me that with her salary and tips she made really good money.
While this goes back a lot of years, as I thought about Betty and her career choice, it reminded me of my decision that eventually led me to becoming a syndicated columnist. When I became associated with the late Earl Nightingale, way back in 1970 to market his attitude motivational materials, many of my peers around the country made the decision to call on major corporations and large companies to sell their products and services. Of course, the need to train and motivate employees was certainly there. However, in most cases these other Nightingale distributors made the decision based on how much money they could earn.
Landing and working with large corporate accounts was certainly more profitable than what I was led to do. Not long after I got into business, I began to call on the schools around our state and later in other states as well. It was not too long before I began to work with administrators, teachers and students. While the schools were able to pay me for materials and presenting workshops and seminars, it was nowhere near what others were making who had chosen to take a different direction. In short, I loved working with educators and students so much that the money was secondary.
As a result I have never earned a lot of money, but it has always been more than enough to meet my needs. This has been a lot of years ago, and the reason I am sharing it with you is that, like Betty, I had found my calling. When I first started, what I did not know is that this decision would lead to my radio program, newspaper column, speaking all across the country, and writing 10 books. I say this to the Glory of God and never to boast, but to make a very important point. It is not so important what kind of work we choose. The main thing is that we truly love it and can see the service we are providing to others.
As the old saying goes, “When we get lost in our work, we have found our future.” I want to leave you with these words from the late Bob Gannaway: “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.”