Governor or Gas Station Attendant?
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Governor or Gas Station Attendant?
By Charles Marshall, Motivational Speaker and Author
The story goes that the governor and his wife were touring the state, campaigning for his re-election campaign when their limousine driver announced that they were low on gas. As they pulled off the highway into a small country gas station, both the governor and his wife noticed that they were back in their old hometown, in which they had grown up, met, and married.
As the gas station attendant ambled out to the car, the governor said to his wife, “Hey isn’t that your old boyfriend pumping our gas?”
The governor’s wife looked out the window for a moment and then said, “Why, yes I believe it is.”
“Just think,” the governor said in a smug tone, “if you had married him instead of me, you would have been the wife of a gas station attendant.”
“Just think,” his wife replied without missing a beat, “if I had married him, he would have been governor.”
I don’t know any married woman who doesn’t like that joke.
The underlying point of it is that no one makes it to the top on their own. It’s impossible to name anyone who has been successful on their own. Shoot, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto, right?
In my presentation, Real Heroes Don’t Wear Spandex, I make the point that heroes aren’t celebrities, movie stars, or professional athletes. In real life, real heroes are people who make a difference with their lives by investing in the lives of those around them.
So how does that happen? Do you need to magically morph into Florence Nightingale or Mother Teresa to make a difference in the world? No, it really only takes 4 steps to become a hero in your community.
1] Choose—Realize that everything in a life is a choice. If you see someone investing in the lives of others in your community, it’s not because that person woke up as a better person than the rest of us. It is because that individual saw a need and chose to do something about it.
2] Think—Get a plan. It might take research. It might mean talking to a few people. But if you’re going to effectively influence the lives of people around you, you need to make intelligent, well-informed decisions about how to do so. Much damage has been done in this world by well-meaning people without a clue.
3] Act—The difference between a good intention and a good deed is only an action. One of the central concepts in my book Shattering the Glass Slipper, is: Instead of waiting for your ship to come in, grab a hammer and build a boat! There are those who talk and those that do! Which are you?
4] Believe—Communicate positivity to the people on your team. Sometimes I will have people object to this point, essentially saying, “But Charles, the people on my team are idiots! Do you want me to lie to them?!”
I have two responses to that point.
A] My father once told me that if you think it’s everyone else in the world with the problem, you are probably the one with the problem.
B] I’m not asking you to tell anyone anything that’s not true. I’m simply asking you to communicate to those around them that you believe that they have what it takes to overcome the challenges they have before them.
What will you do today that supports those on your team? What word of encouragement, belief, or empowerment will you inject into the world of those around you?
Your encouragement, your leadership, and your support might be the difference between a gas station attendant and a governor in someone else’s life.
© 2011 Charles Marshall. Charles Marshall is a nationally known humorous motivational speaker and author. Visit his Web site at www.MPowerResources.net or contact him via e-mail at info@MPowerResources.net.