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Keep the Change

Have you ever payed a waiter or waitress, or maybe some other type of service person and as you handed them the payment you said “keep the change?”

I had a co-worker that used to do that all the time, unfortunately he didn’t do that to reward great service. He did it because he thought of himself, and more importantly, he wanted other people to think of him as some kind of big shot.

Even more unfortunately for him, when a mentor or any one else suggested he change his behavior to something less bombastic, he told them to keep the change too.

We worked together for several years and he received a great deal of good advice from people that really wanted to help him succeed. It was suggested to him frequently that he change his attitude. His answer was always the same; keep the change. It was never him that needed to change, it was always everyone else.

I’m reminded of the funny story of a guy who receives a call from his wife as he is driving home. She is calling to warn him of a driver that is driving on the wrong side of the freeway. He frantically responds to his wife that it’s not just one driver, it’s all of them.

Let me tell you something, get ready because you’re not going to like this. If lots of people around you think that you have a bad attitude, then you almost certainly have a bad attitude. The odds are overwhelming that they can’t all be wrong.

Change is often hard, it’s hard for many reasons. When it involves personal change it can be even harder because it means “losing” what we were or want we did. It can also mean acknowledging that we were failing in what we were doing or how we were doing it.

Let me tell you something else that will be much easier to accept: Successful people change all the time. They accept change as a way of life. They will readily ditch their own idea or their own way of doing something if they see a better way, a way that is more likely to lead to success. They know there is not an ounce of shame in admitting they can do better or that someone else was doing better than them.

So, look at your life. Look hard. Be honest. What areas of your life could you change for the better? What things can you do differently that would lead to better results? What will you have to “lose” to successfully implement the change?

Decide to make that change and then ask someone who cares about you to hold you accountable to make it. Ask them to check up on you once a week for a month. There’s a good chance that after 30 days you won’t notice a difference but there is a great chance that the people around you will.

When it comes to making an improvement in your life, the last thing you want to say is, “Keep the change!”

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