A few years ago, I worked for a startup company in Toronto. There was a pressing matter and I got into an argument with one of my bosses JD. Stemming from this, though, we had a conversation where we opened up about our flaws and he shared me this gem of a lesson he had when he was starting out:

JD was in his early twenties. He had just been hired by a welding company that was notorious for being tough on its employees, especially the new recruits. For the first month, he was the secretary’s assistant. He wasn’t hired to work as the secretary’s assistant; he was hired as a sales representative. In fact, a few month’s earlier he was running his own business and making good money.

“What am I doing here?”

However, instead of grumbling about his predicament, JD took on the attitude “How can I learn from this? How can I grow from this?” He applied himself fully to his work of filing documents. He developed a better system for filing documents.

His work didn’t go unnoticed; his superiors saw the kind of person he was and soon he was doing more advanced sales work. Also, his secretary was forever grateful for the new better filing system he developed, and good relations with her helped him out several times later on.

I love sharing this story. It’s a great reminder that even though we may not be able to control our circumstances, we can certainly control our attitudes – and that is a very powerful thing. I’m forever grateful to JD for sharing this with me as it has changed my life. I hope it has changed yours.


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