What Cab Drivers Taught Me About Mental Attitude
I had a speaking engagement in Fredericton,NB between May 25 and 26 and I learned something about perception and mental attitude from the cab drivers.
I grabbed a cab outside the small airport and as we approached Fredericton, the driver started showing me some amazing houses across the Saint John River. He went on to say how most people could not afford those houses as they were half a million with property taxes of $10K a year! Yikes, those taxes are high! However, he also made it sound that living anywhere in Fredericton is costly because the property taxes are high. He could be right, I don’t know. I was just listening.
I knew that a house like that in Edmonton, would be about one million dollars, and I mentioned that to him.
Now, what caught my attention about mental attitude, was when I was on my way back to the airport the following day. I curiously asked the cab driver if owning a home was expensive in Fredericton.
“No way!” he replied
“I moved from Toronto where I sold my2-bedroom condo for $550, 000 and I used that money to buy a 4-bedroom house on a 2-acre lot, for a lot less, and pay for my kids’ university education.”
“Oh nice! So what about property taxes –are they very high?”
“Depends how you look at it. It could be high for some or less for others. I’m happy I have my own home and its way less than what it costs in Toronto.”
The power of perception alters your mental attitude, doesn’t it?
Your Perspective Shapes Your Outcome
Perception is often times the most honest form of individualized reality. The first cab driver believes that one can possibly own a house, but property taxes are a deterrent. The second cab driver believes that he landed a great deal when he moved from Toronto –where the price of a 4-bedroom home on a 2-acre lot is significantly higher inToronto.
What if we would have placed the first cabdriver in the second driver’s shoes? Would his perception be different about the situation?
Similarly, in your workplace, if you feel you’re having a conflict within yourself or with someone - whether it’s your co-worker OR your manager, take a moment and float into their shoes. Now see it from their perspective. Want to add a third perspective that is objective? Pretend you’re a fly on the wall looking into the situation. How do you perceive it now?
You can't change someone else and you may not be able to change a situation, but you can change your perspective towards it, which in turn changes your mental attitude.