Today is Halloween so I will share a scary story with you. As most of you know, I have a day job at the United States Postal Service. In addition to the monetary aspect, it also allows me to practice many of the tools I put forth here. I always strive to be a source of positivity and help my coworkers foster a sense of gratitude and joy. As a matter of course, I always welcome the mail carriers back when they return from their routes. I also routinely ask my coworkers if they are having a good day or having fun at the moment. A gentle reminder that while doing our best to get our jobs done, we can still focus on having fun. Most of the time this is met with some jocularity and on occasion, some comments of encouragement of their own.

There is one young lady, however, that seems quite sunshine challenged. When I inquired if she was having a good day she informed me in no uncertain terms that I should never ask her that as long as she is at work because the answer will always be ‘no’. After 21 years of working there, I am no stranger that the Post Office can supply some challenging situations, as can any job. There are days that are tough, and days that are not. I could not imagine going to some place every day where you know with certainty that you will have a bad day, and doing so voluntarily.

This young lady is a carrier on what they call a ‘rural route’. This means she seldom has to leave her truck and drives up to the mailbox to put the mail in. I think on a nice spring or fall day driving around in a rural setting listening to your favorite music all while getting paid a good wage could sound nice to some people. Sure, there are days when it is raining, or here in Wisconsin snowing, that I can imagine driving for several hours could be a drag, but not every day. How could this be?

The answer was supplied to me last Saturday. This young lady called me over to her case where she sorts her mail. She handed me the scanner all carriers use and said in a rather angry tone, “This is the f*&king sh*t I have to deal with!” I glanced at the scanner. On it was a warning to pay attention to the signs of heat stroke. On this day we were experiencing an early October snow storm. Ironic? For sure. Funny? I thought so. As far as something she had to put up with, I found a message that could easily be deleted and even laughed at to be not that big of a deal. Her perception was that everything was against her and that this was a large obstacle. When viewed through a filter of that nature any job will seem terrible.

This brings to mind a great reminder. We have the option to how we see things. We can find the humor, or we can find the frustration. We can find the gratitude, or the lack. We can find the joy, or we can find the pain. It is all up to us. When we look for the good in things it can transform our days and jobs into things we enjoy, or certainly do not dread.


Why on earth would a blog about living a fulfilling and positive life be encouraging fear? Two reasons. First, it is Halloween and it is generally a time when spirits and ghost stories receive front page press. Second fear plays a great deal in determining the quality of our life. Fear of death and illness can keep many people from stepping outside their comfort zone and trying things that may bring amazing things into their lives. Fear of differences and personal rejection may stop people from starting conversations with new and unique people who could bring a great deal into their lives. Fear of failure can often paralyze people from pursuing their dreams and bringing not only joy to their world, but light and beauty to the world in general. Feeling inspired yet? Ok, neither am I, but the truth is that is only the dark side of fear. That is only half of the picture. Fear has another side as well. Fear can be protective. Fear of injury keeps most of us from driving reckless. Fear of hurting another person’s feelings can often keep us from saying hurtful things and finding a more productive way to resolve conflicts. That same fear of failure can motivate us to better prepare. When you hear news your job may be a victim of a layoff it can motivate you to search for additional sources of income or examine your budget and spending habits. The fear of suffering the same health issues that plagued your family can inspire you to live a healthier life. The point here is simple. Fear, like many other emotions can either be our servant or our master. It all depends on how we handle it. Does a fear of public speaking cause you to freeze up or to review your notes one final time? Does the fear of a culture you do not understand prevent you from associating with those people or does it motivate you to educate yourself on aspects of that culture to demystify your thoughts? Think of some of your fears, do they control you or do you employ them in your journey toward a more rewarding life? We all have a mix of both, but the goal is to start attacking our fears one by one and making them serve us instead of the other way around. The earlier we face our fears, before they have a chance to take hold in our minds the easier to conquer them. Of course the feeling of overcoming a life-long free gives us freedom that is almost unequaled. So this Halloween while enjoying your favorite ghost story or scary movie ponder your own fears and how you can use them to assist you.