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The people streamed through the doors of the subway train and maneuvered for seats and the better standing locations. The doors closed behind them and after a brief pause I started playing that private game that so many straphangers play - analyze the passengers.

Across from me was a nicely suited man who had a N Y Times folded under his arm and an expensive briefcase in his grip. He sat next to a more casually dressed man who was a bit older than he, who was carrying a tabloid newspaper and a trade magazine. The blue-collar worker greeted his neighbor cheerfully and energetically with a "Good morning - how ya' doin'?" and the professional nodded back unenthusiastically.

The conversation moved from the weather to the local sports results and then to making a living. The professional was an attorney for a Wall Street mega firm who spoke only of the drudgery and office politics of his company and his job. He could not wait to make a move but the climate wasn't right so he said "I'll just have to grin and bear it until the economy picked up again".

The blue collar worker responded." Yeah, things are tough and a lot of my guys got laid off too but ya know it ain't so bad and I really like what I do". It seems he was a maintenance and building services employee in a high-rise office building - a cleaning and fix-it man. All the workers in the building made more money that he and had cleaner more prestigious positions BUT few were happier than he to show up at the job every day. He cleaned and fixed with a passion because he felt he was lucky to have a job and he did what he did as well as anyone could perform his duties.

Success is not necessarily based on intelligence or position. Being a winner comes with a positive attitude towards your job. One who approaches his or her work as an unpleasant task and is working just because one needs the money will spend long days crawling unsuccessfully through his or her responsibilities. The person who greets each day as a challenge and wants to do whatever it is he or she must as best as one can do it will succeed in all endeavors. It is not an inborn trait it is one that comes with learning motivation from others who are motivated, by reading about success stories and by listening to positive thinking motivational speakers. If you want to succeed "light a fire" in your soul and do your best at whatever you do.


Who is rich? One who is happy with his situation.

Pirke Abot

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.



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