I love this story from Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley about their new hire, Amitoj. A chance meeting in an elevator turned into a lunch date, which turned into an eye-opening conversation about passion and persistence.
Amitoj, part of the cleaning staff at the time, had left his home in India in pursuit of a better job. With a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, he had only found work as a janitor and was hardly reaching his potential. In conversation, what Lakhiani found was Amitoj had been absorbing everything from his environment. He’d been taking mental notes since he arrived, and saw a greater future for himself, even from behind the broom.
Mindvalley gave him a shot. And according to those dance moves, I’d say he’s pretty pleased;)
What this story reminded me of were my years spent as a waitress and bartender, and even more potentially degrading–a valet.
The looks on people’s faces as you clean up their messy table or drive up in their car, are often looks of pity or judgement–that is if they even acknowledge you at all.
Thankfully, I’d come back to waitressing and valeting after working in the “real world” and was thrilled to be there, or else I might have fallen prey to the negative feedback.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there were times when I’d have to remind myself that I had a master’s degree, or that this wasn’t a life plan–just the scenic route on the road to success.
There were tough days that took more positive reinforcement than others.
As a bartender, I’d play a game to be the best listener, or the best impromptu conversationalist, or have eye-contact contests. Because if it doesn’t make you better, you lose. It’s not your environment’s fault. It’s yours. #fact.
As a valet, I’d look out onto the horizon where the pristine Pacific ocean met the stunning Hawaiian sunrise and marvel at where life had taken me. How lucky am I to work outside in the intoxicating Hawaiian breeze? How amazing is it that I get paid really well to do a really simple job? I don’t even have to wear heels. And I get off in time for pau hauna (happy hour) surf.
Sure, both jobs had there annoyances and drawbacks, but which vantage point, do you imagine, felt better to focus on?
I wasn’t being naive. I was constantly rerouting my path, but while I was
stuck positioned there, dammit, I was making the best of it.
All the while, with my dreams playing out in the back of my head.
Congrats, Amitoj. Kick ass, brother.
The very first mantra I ever used (naturally and authentically): Trust, trust, trust.
I leave you with this: There is no better freedom than keeping the faith!
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!