Is Your Telescope Set Right?

Even though I’m in my mid 70s now, I continue to work in the podcast center two days a week completing podcasts for URG’s “On the Go” as well as four other towing and recycler-related podcasts. If you are wondering what I do with the remaining three days of the week, I’m proud to say that you can find me at a radio station in Calhoun, Georgia. Somewhere in all that work week, I manage to find quality time with my three grandchildren in the North Georgia summer sun. My grandchildren mean the world to me, and I am sure you’re doing the same this summer with your family.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on how you look at life. Here’s a short story that I hope you will take to heart. It’s about a little boy who wanted to change his situation. There was a big bully down the street who was always bothering this little boy. The little boy was trying to muster enough nerve to stand up to this bully, but he was still too afraid.

Well one day, hoping to divert his son’s thoughts, the father bought the little boy a new telescope. Later he found his son playing with it in the front yard and noticed that his son was looking through the wrong end, raising the larger lens to his eye. On a mission to correct him, the father stepped outside and said, “NO, son! You’re doing it backward. Turn it around and it will make everything bigger like it was meant to do.”  The little boy answered, “I know that Dad, but right now I’m looking at this bully. When I look at him this way it makes him so small that I’m not afraid of him anymore.”

Life is like a telescope. Sometimes in life, we might have to turn our telescope around because we’ve magnified a small problem for far too long. It becomes larger only because we are looking at it differently than we should be. A problem might seem impossible to change and that it’s never going to work out. However, if you’ll turn it around, you will see it from the right perspective. It goes back to Dr. Wayne Dwyer’s saying, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”

Attitude begins as harmless thoughts. Then, with practice, they become layered by habit into unbroken chains to shackle OR strengthen our lives. We are scarcely aware they exist. Just like a comfortable bed, they are easy to fall into, but difficult to get out of. Consider what we can do about the following conversation I had with another recycler.

Yesterday, I spoke with Doug Williams, the GM of Eagle Auto Parts in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and he stated, “For years when gas prices went up, like they are right now, scrap prices would also go up.” The enlightening part of our conversation came afterwards when we agreed that’s not what’s happening this time around. Actually, the prices are going down on scrap, and that’s not good for our industry. You tell me what is next because our government doesn’t seem to be prepared for anything these days. What can we do?

It’s time to check the lens. How are you seeing things these days? Remember, losers always see thunderstorms. Winners always see rainbows. Losers see all mishaps of icy streets, while winners strap on their ice skates. I, personally know lots of recyclers, real winners, that always work their way around challenges. We have more of our share of challenges in this industry today so let’s make the best of it.

Don’t forget that we, as recyclers, are not responsible for what happens out here or what others do or think. However, we’re only responsible for how we chose to feel, behave, or react.

My final thought. Some of us need to turn our telescope backward and start seeing our challenges through a smaller lens so we can get a proper perspective on how to fix problems going forward.

See you next time or on the URG “On-the-Go” podcast.

Look for URG on the GO on your favorite podcast platform!

Correspondence regarding this article should go to:
D.J. Says, 146 Mill Creek Drive, Canton, GA 30115

D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, and Caterpillar. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.