I used to have a job as a forklift driver/yard jockey. John, the best boss I ever had, was teaching me to back the rig into the dock. The technique was to drive past the dock door you’re aiming for, line up the rig in front of it, and then make little “s” turns as you back into it. I was supposed to be steering in a smooth and gradual way. I guess I wasn’t.

After that particular lesson, I was feeling pretty tense and not getting it. John said, “Claudia, you’re working hard, but you’re not working smart.”

I tend to be an over-steerer. I’m always looking for the result when I’m looking for the result. But I’m starting to realize that when you’re fortunate enough to get a result, it probably won’t come when you expect it. The funny thing is, when you open the door for the result you’re expecting, it’s another visitor: the result of something else you’ve been working toward.

For example, we’re switching around a lot of jobs at work due to staff reduction. I had to train someone to do part of my former job. Her attitude was horrible. She didn’t want to do the new job, and her resistance to learning it was like an impenetrable force field of resentment toward me, who didn’t cause any of the job switching. In fact, I had designed a way to make things easier for her. But, no, she was the victim.

On Monday through Thursday, I steadfastly and patiently taught her to the best of my ability without reacting to her immature attitude. I tried to get her to ask questions. She said she had none. I figured this was the way it was going to be.

Then, on Friday, her attitude was a 180. It was like Jesus came down and cured her. It was scary. But it was great. She asked me a question even before training began. She was relaxed. I had been encouraging her all along, but told her she seemed more relaxed and I thought asking questions was helping.

Also this week, I’ve had some great bonding time with my daughter. I felt a real connection talking with one of my sisters with whom I’ve not had a chance to talk much recently. I was able to overcome some mental-block fears and learn some new life skills.

All these things happened while I was focusing my energy on something else.

Maybe everything just solves itself when your effort is smart and smooth, like little s’s.

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