Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wake up, Eat, Work, Go Home, Sleep, Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
This is the tempo so many people tuned their ears to listen to day in and day out. You may have passed them in the hallway on your way to a meeting and briefly paused to notice a soft, faint sound of despair. Or, it could be the song you quietly hum as you check the clock to know when can you take your first, second, third or fourth break. If we aren’t careful and intentional, this song, this beat, this rhythm has the power to rob you of the best moment of your life.
In case anyone hasn’t told you, your best moment is Right Now. Today. Here. Now.
I want you to stop what you are doing. I know you need to talk to your teammate. The report is due in 1 hour. The ping of emails is reverberating your mind. Ignore them and stop right NOW. Take a deep breath. Focus on the sound of the air leaving your lungs and remember and focus on the though buzzing through your mind. For some of us, that though is full of worry, anxiety, fear, uncertainty about your job or your company. What ever it is write it down and pin it to your wall. Draw an imaginary bulls eye around that thought. Do you see it. That’s your destiny. That is where you are headed. That single solitary thought has the power to change the trajectory of your life for the good or the bad.
One day, I found myself frustrated, angry and quietly losing hope of achieving any measurable success. Like so many others, I was consumed by difficulties at home. I couldn’t focus on my job, and wasn’t able to think about anything but how I could change my home life which was going downhill fast. Every waking moment was spent on destructive thoughts that were slowly poisoning my work, my relationships and even my health. Something had to change. I attended a women’s conference and the speak repeated the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sow and reap. Plant and harvest. One leads to the next. A thought has the power to make you laugh or cry. Cause you to be sad or happy. In the case of an illness or disease, physicians can predict a patients survival rate by their thoughts and attitudes.
Frederick McKinley Jones was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 17, 1893 to a white father and black mother. His mother deserted him when he was a young child. His father struggled to raise him on his own, but by the time Frederick was 7 years old, he sent young Jones to live with a priest in Kentucky. Two years later, his father died. At the age of 11, with minimal education under his belt, Jones ran away to fend for himself. He returned to Cincinnati and found work doing odd jobs, including as a janitor in a garage where he developed a knack for automobile mechanics. He was so good, he became foreman of the shop. In 1912, he landed in Hallock, Minnesota where he obtained a job doing mechanical work on a farm. He designed and patented a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying perishable food. Forming a partnership with Numero, Jones founded the U.S. Thermo Control Company. The company grew exponentially during World War II, helping to preserve blood, medicine and food. By 1949, U.S. Thermo Control was worth millions of dollars. Frederick Jones went on to receive 60 patents in the area of refrigeration.
Frederick Jones would not have been able to invent the precursor to the refrigerator if he remained consumed with the difficulties of his home life. Instead, he intentionally let his mind be filled with his invention and the complex problem to create a new thing that has changed life as we know it around the globe.