Right now you are probably wondering why in the world I titled this blog "Be a Fred." No, I do not want you to change your name to Fred and no, I didn't misspell friend. Let me explain my wonderful past two hours and maybe you'll understand why I think we should all Be Freds.I have two people to thank for my great two hours-- (1.) My amazing husband Garrett who told me I should go out to the pool and get some Vitamin D. I think he was feeling bad for me and my beautiful white skin. He currently has no air conditioning in his car, so he drives with the window down all day long as he works. This, allowing for a golden red/brown one armed husband. (2.) My principal who gave me the book "The Fred Factor" and told me I had to read it.
I received the book about a week ago and placed it by my pool towel and pool key with the plan to read the book when I went to the pool. I have been wanting to go to the pool for some time now, but have never got up the courage to do so. For me it takes courage to go to the pool, cause it means I have to go by myself and I feel funny about going to the pool all alone. When Garrett left for work this morning I decided that I would go to the pool. I put on some sun screen on a few spots that always burn and headed to the pool with my beach towel, sunglasses, and "The Fred Factor."
After reading the first page of "The Fred Factor" I knew I would love the book. Motivational books are my favorite to read. This book is about how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The first chapter introduces you to an ordinary mailman. This ordinary person makes his life extraordinary by how he chooses to do his job and interact with people. This mailman's name is Fred. Throughout the book the author, Mark Sanborn" introduces you to other "Freds" that he meets along his journeys. The book also shares with you ideas of how to have an extraordinary life. We all influence others one way or another. Some influence others for good, while others influence for worse. When we see someone we have the choice to smile or frown. Either way, you influence someone.
This book got me reflecting on my past experiences with others and how simple things they do make a difference. I am always making comments to Garrett about how the customer service is that we receive. For our honeymoon, Garrett and I went on a cruise to Mexico. Every single worker on that ship was extraordinary. They did their job well, but that's not all. They went above and beyond. Some of them even knew our names and every time they saw us they would greet us by name. They would take pictures for us and were full of smiles. They were so helpful whenever we had questions or problems. Recently we have been going to Home Depot a lot to get different things for all of our creations we have been making. Every time we go I am blown away with their workers. They are so willing to help. A lot of stores point when you ask them where something is located. Every time was ask they take us there. When we ask a question and they don't know the answer they find someone who knows. We went to get PVC pipes to make Mexican horse shoes and they were willing to cut all the pipes for us so they would fit in our car. You can find a huge smile on my face every time we leave Home Depot because of the service that we receive. It's amazing how helpful people who are kind influence others.
A sentence in the book asks, "What kind of difference are you going to make today?" This was a discouraging sentence because I don't have much interaction with people this summer. I don't know anyone around where I live and most days I stay inside my home working on different projects. My reading came to a halt when I was distracted with a mother and daughter at the pool. The daughter was in a little floating device and the mother was outside the pool. By the mother's tone of voice and her words I could tell she was frustrated with her daughter. I work with kids 180 days of the year and understand how children can get frustrating
at times. I also know how kids need attention and positives. I quickly thought about what I was
reading and the question the author asked, "What are you going to do today?" With hesitation,
I put my book down with a plan to somehow make the situation a more pleasant one for all
involved. I struggle with helping others, not because I don't want to help but because I am
afraid they don't want my help or will get offended. I thought it would be worth the try. I got in the
pool and swam over to the little girl and asked for her name. She didn't really respond and the
mother answered for her and then yelled at
her to get out of the pool. The daughter did and
I felt rejected and helpless. I thought back on "The Fred Factor" and thought that maybe I needed
to be more bold. So I said to the mother, "If you would like I will play with your daughter in the
pool. It was amazing how that simple sentence changed the mom's attitude. The daughter got in
the pool with her floaty toy and I pulled her around. I taught her how to kick off the side of the pool
and use her arms and feet to move around. We found all the leaves in the pool and threw them
out. I never knew a kid could be so enthralled with cleaning a pool. Every now and then I would
look over at the mom who was smiling from ear to ear. The little girl asked me if she could wear
my sun glasses. I let her put them on and she thought it was the coolest thing. Her mom
loved it so much that her and her friend took out their cameras to take pictures. I played in the
pool with the little 4 year old girl for about an hour. My skin was turning bright red so I decided
it would be in my best interest to escape the sun. The little girl and I got out of the pool and I took
her back to her mom. The mother thanked me and off I went. I am sure I will never see the little
girl and her mom ever again. It was so much fun playing in the pool with the girl. Her smile was
priceless, her mom's expressions were refreshing, and my spirit was rejuvenated. It was so great
being able to make an ordinary pool trip extraordinary for three people.
Life is so great, but it is so, so, so, so very
much greater when we do simple
gestures to turn ordinary into the extraordinary.
What kind of difference are you going to make today?
I would highly recommend all to read
"The Fred Factor."