Yggdrasil, by Oluf Olufsen Bagge, 1847. Scandinavian tree, connecting the heaven, the world and the subworld

Yggdrasil, by Oluf Olufsen Bagge, 1847. Scandinavian tree, connecting the heaven, the world and the subworld

I want to share with you a story that I found exemplary and effective against any crisis or adversity that comes our way.

Nereah needed to hire a computer analyst who asked a client for a major project. With so many millions of unemployed in the labor market, she thought that find a good candidate would be simple. But she was very wrong.

At the end of the first week, after interviewing dozens of candidates, she was desperate. All candidates had a lot of experience and great knowledge related to the job. But some candidates told her their troubles and how badly they suffered to survive. Others complained about the government, the unions and even the companies. Other candidates put excuses to the candidacy, claiming that previously they worked in big multinationals, with a better job, a higher salary and better position.

All them had in common that they were victims of a ruthlessly crisis that destroyed their safety and welfare. A sudden change occurred in their lives, but none wanted to change, resisting a past that gets away inexorably and forever. They blamed of their misfortunes to this cruel and unforgiving world. In each of them there was negativity, despair, apathy, resignation and even pride.

The Friday of the third week came. The client put pressure on Nereah, and she had not yet her candidate. There were three candidates before closing the selection process. If no candidate satisfies her, she would choose the candidate with the better skills and fewer problems might generate.

But the first candidate was different from the rest. Since he entered the room, Nereah noticed that he had something that she could not find in the others. He was smiling and had a special twinkle in his eyes. He felt strong, sure, friendly and happy to be there. He transmitted enthusiasm and willingness to work. He spoke of his earlier work with passion. His interest in the position was real and sincere. He did not talk about anything personal and he did not transmitt anything negative. Nereah had found his analyst.

Nereah interviewed, by courtesy, the last two candidates, who repeated the same patterns that the first applicants.

The enthusiastic candidate was immediately hired and began working. After a week, Nereah contacted him in order to check if he was happy at work. He was ebullient and happy. Nereah was surprised for his behavior, because she knew that it was not an outstanding job. Nereah asked him how he could be so happy in a job rather ordinary, with a salary lower than five years ago. His answer puzzled her:

“I know it is not the most important job in the world, but for me yes it is, because it’s my job. I was lucky to find it at such a difficult time where thousands of people are laying off every day. Why would not I be thankful for it and be happy?

The crisis caused my company was reducing the personnel gradually until it was my turn and I got fired. I had three young children, a wife, a mortgage and many debts. It was a big blow. I had lost my family’s economic lifeline.

I contacted other people who suffered the same fate, but you only hear moans and complaints, as if that problems are solved in that way. The evil of all is the consolation of the fools. They introduce you into a vicious current, increasingly vertiginous, negative and destructive. Everyone wants to go back to the comfort zone from which they were dispossessed. And so, the time passes: you are still in the same place, in the same situation and nothing has changed.

One day, while I was eating with my mother, I burst into tears. For several hours, she listened impassively my problems and pains, with the patience that only has a mother when she suffers by the suffering of a son. When I vent completely, my mother told me, with a big smile: “the world is your mirror, darling. When you look at it and see the hell, you see your own reflection, you see which is within you. You can change the world, but before you must change yourself. When you give a smile to someone, that person reacts to it with a contagious stimulus. Surely, that person will give a smile to another person, and so on up to you. Your attitude changes your world”.

That was revealing to me. For a long time I had a negative attitude, and the world reflected my own negativity. It was time to change. And that change should start with myself and my attitude.

My mother gave me a life at birth, but she gave me another life with that advice. My world changed when I changed my attitude”.

And you, do you think that attitude is the key to changing your world? Do you have any experience in which the attitude was decisive?



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