Sunday 8-9-15 Do your best.

Happy Sunday!
“Nothing that’s happened to you has been wasted.  It’s making you who you’re supposed to be.” ~ Joel Osteen
The theme for this week has been “do your best”.
Early in the week I had a strange dream.  I dreamt I was on a road construction site.  A road was being built above a flat wooded area.  There was needed about 6 to 8 feet of material to fill for the roadway to build the base.  I was informed that the fill material was human bodies.  I was then informed that my body was needed for the road fill. I thought about it and told myself that I am not afraid to die so I said OK to letting my body be road fill.  I was then woken up by a thunderstorm moving through in the middle of the night.
I wondered what the message was from this dream. It was one of those vivid, impactful, short dreams so I felt it held a message.
The next morning I was out on a road construction site and something came up to remind me of the dream.  I said to my two co-workers that I dreamt of backfilling a road with bodies. They laughed and said that everyone should stay clear of me. They thought I was so stressed that my dream indicated I was homicidal.  I didn’t tell them that it was different – that I agreed to martyr myself for the road.
On Thursday I had to speak to one of my staff about his obvious slacking off on his work lately.  As a friend and caring person I recognize that he is going through a rough time in his life right now.  I see him giving in to external things to try to find something good.  As his boss I knew I had to say something about his behavior being a problem with the efficiency of our work group.  I see he is at a cross roads in his life and will need to make some big decisions very soon.  I told him I didn’t know if intended to stay with the job or leave but either way it didn’t serve either side to not perform his work.  I explained to him how I have past employees come back to me for references and how they always say that what they learned by working for me served them to accelerate to the higher performance and pay they have obtained.
What I realized after my talk, and wish I had been more concise about, was for him to just do his best.  (Don Miguel Ruiz returns with his lessons from the ‘Four Agreements’.)
My subordinate explained to me that he was down as he didn’t see the job held much hope for advancement or promotion.  Most in my office would say the same including my boss but this has not been my experience.  As I thought over the conversation afterward I realized I always did my best without consideration for pay or acclaim.  I agree it is nice to be recognized but I think that I always did my best at work so that I could feel good about myself.  When things were difficult in my life I always found confirmation of my worthiness (when I was in doubt) from my work accomplishments.
Always do your best.  It really is a Self-ish act.
I went to Walmart on Thursday evening to make a large electronics purchase.  I had done my research on the internet before so was ready to just walk in and purchase what I wanted.  The transaction took nearly an hour due my being ignored by the staff.  I saw plenty of staff members around the store and at least 4 in the electronics department.  I was ignored for 10 minutes and then walked past.  I had to follow one staff person and ask for what I wanted.  Another 10 minutes of waiting for him to get it from the back room.  He then tried to sell me a warrantee that I had questions on.  He misrepresented the information and then had to disappear to ask someone else about my questions.  I waited another long period.  A manager came to the desk to page someone – he ignored me but as he walked away had a subordinate ask me what I needed.
My point – here at Walmart I had entered a whole culture of people not doing their best.  I mentioned this to friends at lunch the next day and they confirmed that this is the culture they have found at Walmart stores as well.
It’s sad to think there are all these people out there who are making the choice to act low and feel low because perhaps their life is not as they desire.  They don’t realize that it is a choice.  Always do your best and you can end your day feeling good that you did so.
I got home from Walmart to find road construction had begun in front of my home that day.  I was disturbed by how the contractor had left the site at the end of the day.  From my driveway heading south was torn up.  My neighbors had no access across the curb and sidewalk excavation other than to walk on a 10-12 inch wide board.  I was not happy about my own driveway being inaccessible but the inconsideration for my neighbors’ access was just wrong.  For as long as I have worked on road projects, it has been told to contractors that they had to provide safe access to residences by ramping the end of each day with stone.
I realized that I live in a town where people don’t tend to complain, its mostly low income.  People don’t expect better and just accept a lack of consideration.  Friday morning as I got ready for work I decided I was going to complain to the site personnel outside and then make a call to the project engineer.
I suddenly understood my dream! (I thanked my guides.)
I wasn’t going to martyr myself for this road project.  (A bit dramatic I know.) Doing my best in this situation would be to use my knowledge and experience to express the right way things should be handled.  I spoke to the site inspector and contractor.  I called the project engineer.  I expressed that what they were doing was inconsiderate, unsafe, and that the people of the town deserved better.  I came home to see that the neighbors had stone ramps to walk onto their property (driveway ramps would have been better but one step at a time).
During the day I also thought about my own beliefs, actions, and behaviors with communicating work to the public. Was I doing my best in being considerate of the impacts of my projects on others?  I reviewed the actions I take and feel they are good.  I am sure there is more to learn to improve communications so I will remain open to learning. I told this story to several people and now I am writing about it.  Perhaps this is how I will learn how to better improve my own work processes!
This morning Joel spoke about thinking of the bad times like putting manure on flower beds.  The waste, garbage, stinky times of our lives form the roots for growth.  When we have Faith that difficult times are there to prepare us we will be prepared to receive the fulfillment of our desires.
This is Law of Attraction – keeping the Faith.  Do your best through the hard times as it keeps you in alignment with your True Self.
I liked Joel’s message of ‘nothing is wasted’ because it gave another reason for me to do my best.  Doing my best makes me feel good about me but also it is a sign of staying in Faith that God’s got the plan in motion.
“God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”  ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

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