There was this man who worked in a manufacturing facility where they made custom wood furniture. They brought in all types of wood to carve out beautiful furniture. Each day this man would help make the furniture and then he would sweep up all the sawdust from the floor and throw it away. One day, he went to his boss and asked if he could take the saw dust home with him. His boss said, “Sure you can, we just throw it away anyway.” So each day, this man would sweep up the sawdust, load it in a wheel barrel and push it out to his truck to take home.
After a while, his boss began to get curious as to why the man had asked to take the sawdust home with him. The boss would watch the man wheel the sawdust out to his truck and load it up before leaving for home. Finally, one day while the man was wheeling the sawdust out the boss stopped him and told him that he needed to check under the sawdust just to make sure that nothing was being taken out with the sawdust. The boss moved the sawdust around, found that there was nothing hidden under the sawdust and apologized for questioning him.
Weeks went by, the man kept wheeling out sawdust and the boss’ suspicion grew. He finally couldn’t take it any longer and decided to follow the man home from work to see what he was doing with the sawdust. As the man pulled into the driveway, the boss watched him get the sawdust out and wheel it into his shed, so the boss got out and walked over to the shed as well. The man turned around, discovered that he had been caught and immediately confessed, “I’m so sorry, boss. I really am. I’ve been stealing wheel barrels for months.”
Perspective is such an important thing. Sometimes it can be all too easy to focus on the small things and lose sight of the big picture. For the man’s boss, he got so caught up in trying to figure out what was going on with the sawdust, that he completely missed the fact that the man was wheeling the sawdust out each day in a wheel barrel.
We need to make sure that we don’t get caught up in the small things and miss out on the greater picture.
In work, don’t be so quick to focus on the one thing that you don’t like or bothers you and let that lead to you having a bad attitude or moving on to something else prematurely. Remember that overall it helps provide for your needs, allows you to be part of something larger than yourself and provides you opportunities to interact with your co-workers or customers.
In relationships, don’t be so quick to not befriend someone for a characteristic that doesn’t seem like it represents who your current friends are. Or, don’t be so quick to focus on the one thing your friend or companion does that gets on your nerves and let that drive a wedge in your relationship. Remember that there could be a great friendship that could come from giving that person a chance and that there’s a whole lot more to your existing friendships than just the one or two things that may annoy you from time to time.
I’m sure that like me, you’ve probably had a bad day before. I got a flat tire while driving on the interstate not too long ago. It caused me to be late for a meeting. I got my clothes dirty while having to swap out the spare tire. It was hot. I was sweating. Cars were flying by on the highway. I had to explain to the people I was meeting with what happened.
I was not too thrilled with how the day started out. My first thought was, “Seriously? Did this have to happen now? Is this going to leave a bad impression on the people I’m supposed to be meeting with? Come on! This stinks.”
But, you know what? Shortly after that, I made myself consider the big picture. My tire hadn’t just gone flat, it had blown out. Fortunately, neither I nor anyone else was injured. I was able to quickly and easily get the vehicle off the road and into the emergency lane. It could have been much worse. You never know what the alternative could have been. That problem, at that moment could have helped avoid something even worse, like a wreck, further down the road. That tire could have blown out at a much more dangerous time and location like in a sharp curve had it not happened when it did.
No matter what the situation or circumstance, there’s usually always a bigger picture to consider. Keep that in mind. Keep things in perspective.
Are there any similar perspective examples that you’d like to share? You can comment below or tweet it to me @DanGuffey.
Thanks to Jentezen Franklin who shared the sawdust story while speaking recently. You can check out Jentezen’s new book, The Fearless Life: Live Worry-Free No Matter What Happens, here.