September 10, 2007
Want to Be Happier?
Learn the Law of the Garbage Truck™
How often do you let
other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude
waiter, curt boss or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless
you’re the Terminator, you’re probably set back on your heels. However,
the mark of your success is how quickly you can refocus on what’s
Sixteen years ago I
learned this lesson. And I learned it in the back of a New York City
taxi cab. Here’s what happened:
I hopped in a taxi,
and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right
lane when all of a sudden a black car jumped out of a parking space
right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car
skidded, the tires squealed and at the last moment the car stopped just
one inch from the other car’s back-end.
And what did we see
next? The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big
accident, whipped his head around and he started swearing at us. How do
I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special
And then here’s what
blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I
mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that!? This guy
could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I
now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck™” He said:
Many people are
like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of
frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage
piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll
dump it on you.
So when someone
wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish
them well and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.
So I started
thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how
often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at
home or on the street? It was then that I said, “I don’t want the
garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”
I began to see
Garbage Trucks. Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” where the little
boy said, “I see Dead People.” Well now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see
the load they’re carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my
taxi driver, I don’t take it personally; I just smile, wave, wish them
well and move on.
The bottom line is
that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.
What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you
let more Garbage Trucks pass you by?
And my taxi driver
was right. I am happier.
David J. Pollay
is a syndicated columnist with
North Star Writers Group, and an internationally sought-after speaker
and seminar leader on how to build positive momentum in your business
and life. Mr. Pollay is the founder and president of The
Momentum Project, a training and consulting organization with offices in
Delray Beach, Florida and Washington, D.C. Prior
to founding The Momentum Project, he held senior leadership positions at
Yahoo!, MasterCard, Global Payments, and AIESEC. Mr. Pollay
holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the
University of Pennsylvania, and an Economics Degree from Yale
University. Email him your stories at
or call 561.265.1165.
© 2007 David J. Pollay.
Distributed by North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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