I’ve been mowing lawn for about 7 years now. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have lawn-mowing credentials, but I am quite proud of my craftsmanship. Would I ever go into the landscaping business…? Of course not, but it was certainly a good way to begin my working career back in the day and I sure-fire way to make a bit of extra cash nowadays.
As I come home from work only to find that I need to mow lawn, I naturally feel a bit of frustration within because working after work doesn’t exactly sound like a picnic in the park. Which quite frankly, as soon as I find some extra time, I would love to have a picnic in the park….okay, moving on. After convincing myself I can muster the energy to go mow, I make my way over to my client’s lawn.
I have my own way of doing things, especially when it comes to mowing. I like to outline the entire yard and I always begin with the backyard. To me, it’s a mind over matter game because ending with the front yard gives the illusion that you’re just beginning, but in reality, you’re almost done: you feel me? As I am starting the outline of the backyard, a man on a riding mower next door (looking as if he is in the professional landscaping business) begins mowing the bottom half of the backyard. Okay, so he went a little over the unspoken line between the yard I am mowing and his client’s. No biggie. As I continue mowing, we awkwardly beginning meeting towards the middle. Did he not see me? Is he mooching in on my profit? What’s his problem?
So, naturally I avoid confrontation and begin mowing the front yard. After all, you should always run away from your problems, right? KIDDING. DON’T DO THAT.
After completion of the front yard, I come to find that the back yard is completely done. OKAY SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING? DOES HE NOT SEE HOW AWKWARD THIS IS? I proceed to ask my client what the heck is going on with this situation.
After approaching the man on the riding mower, I realize he was in no way mocking my push mower…he was not by any means out to get my profits…and if anything, his motive was to do a good deed. He said, “I saw you mowing and wanted to help you out.” WHAT? He even refused to be paid for it. Baffled as usual, I take time to reflect on the situation as I sweep up the clippings.
I’m embarrassed by how quick to judge I was with this man. My first instinct was to ask, “What is this guy’s deal?” assuming he had negative motives. In reality, he did an incredibly good deed and he will never truly know how grateful I was to have the help after the long day I had.
So the take-away from all of this? Imagine if instead of asking “What’s the problem?” We asked, “What’s the opportunity?” A problem indicates that something needs to be fixed…that someone needs to change. This man clearly did not have a problem and if everyone had as kind of a heart, the world would be a better place (and everyone’s lawns would be neatly cut, haha). Instead of jumping the conclusion that someone else is at fault, taking a step back and seeking the opportunity can yield completely different results….results that can completely make someone’s day.
You don’t have to mow lawn to have this same experience. Having an open mind as well as an open heart before we diagnose someone with a “problem” can make a world of a difference.