It’s really funny where some of your sources of inspiration/motivation come from. The last week, I’ve been relegated to walking instead of running due to a very sore knee (Youngsters: it really sucks getting old). The benefit of all this is that I’ve actually noticed things along the way. Paid attention. Experienced.
At Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, they store a number of buses that pick up students in a big parking lot by the street. Because of my walking, I’ve learned they start up the buses at 7:00 am, warm them up and off they go. The second day of walking by, I noticed a gentleman walking around bus 209. Touching the back brake light. Wiggling a mirror. Bending down and looking in the wheel well. This happened morning after morning, and I developed a sense of great marvel at the care and consideration this bus driver was giving to his bus before picking up any students. None of the others were. He didn’t have to, I’m assuming, and in fact there are probably some kind of union rules about how much a driver should be expected to do, and so forth.
This driver simply cared about doing the best work, the best job, period. Regardless of his role, status or contract, he was doing what he felt was needed to do good work. It made me reflect on my work. No matter what the assignment or visibility, was I bringing the same level of thoughtfulness to my work? Was I approaching my work with the idea that it didn’t matter what someone did or didn’t tell me to do - that I should approach the work with passion and vigor for doing great work, period. Probably not. So this week, I was inspired. I worked hard and with great intent on projects large and small. I cared.
Don’t get me wrong - I listened to input, watched my budget and considered what others have to say. But I equally cared about how personally happy I was with the work I created. If I would be proud with what a colleague saw or read. Thank you, driver of bus 209 - whoever you are - for inspiring me this week to simply do great work.