I love to read. In fact, I sometimes even catch myself reading the backs of Starbuck cups or cereal boxes just because the words are there. Words call out to me, “Look at me”, “Read me”, “Devour me”, “Hey, over here”. It wasn’t surprising then that last night I found myself skimming through a book I have already read. It is a quick and easy read that I stumbled across earlier this summer on my ongoing quest for professional development.
The book is, Monday Morning Choices, by David Cottrell. In it, the author shares a short blurb about a man named Truitt Brinson who repeated the mantra “Today is my day of opportunity” every morning before heading off to work. Truitt’s philosophy was that a person’s attitude is a powerful indicator of future success.
Being a curious person, I googled Truitt Brinson. I was in for a bit of a shock. The first thing that popped up was his obituary – say what? I learned that Truitt passed away in 2010 at 90 years of age having lived a full and successful life. He was a successful insurance salesman and made the Million Dollar Roundtable every year since 1943. In 1986, Mutual Insurance named him New York’s Man of the Year. He worked as an usher and greeter at the same funeral home until he was 89. Listed amongst his many successes both personally and professionally was his contagious enthusiasm for life and how he treated others. I discovered that Truitt Brinson really did live his mantra each and every day.
So, what am I going to do today? At first glance, my day doesn’t seem any different from any other day. Write this blog post, tidy up my house, plan some lessons for next year, play taxi driver, assist with organizing a dinner party, throw on a load of laundry, and run some errands. It can be so easy to get caught up in life’s necessary little chores that we become unable to see opportunity through the fog of mundanity. However, what if I started each day with Truitt’s philosophy? What if I looked at the world a little differently?
I’m on a quest now. I’m going to smile even more and not be afraid to laugh out loud when I read something funny. I’m going to take the time to chat with the young cashier ringing in my groceries or the elderly lady sitting by herself. I’m going to play with my dog and laugh at her crazy antics. I’m going to express my creativity freely through writing. Getting stuck in traffic is an opportunity to discuss life and humanity while listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s, The Outliers (which is awesome). If we take the time to clear our vision, we would see that the world really is a fascinating place and it is filled with fascinating people.
I think Truitt had it right. Attitude does play a key role in determining success. Let’s be honest, we are all drawn towards those people who shine and beam light from the inside out, no matter what they are doing. I want to be one of those people. Check that, I am one of those people and I radiate positivity and enthusiasm for life.
Today is my day of opportunity. I make a difference. I know it.