I love to meet people who love what they are doing, even if they don't necessarily love what they do. Let me explain. I met Kendra at lunch at a downtown restaurant. I was there for a business lunch meeting and she was there to make ends meet. She was our server and the moment she approached our table I knew she was not your run of the mill server. She immediately engaged us with an upbeat attitude and an authentic interest in making our lunch the best it could be. I asked Kendra how long she had been in the restaurant business and she told me that this was her first gig. She said that she had recently moved to the area from across the country. She was embarking on a new start and was determined to learn from the mistakes of her past. I could tell that life had not been easy for her. Yet she refused to allow bitterness and skepticism to define her. I then asked her if she liked the restaurant business. She replied, "I don't necessarily like the restaurant business, but I love the opportunity to do something to help people have a great experience." Throughout the lunch meeting , Kendra worked hard to meet our needs and to go the extra mile to see that we had an excellent experience. She even chased after me when I left the restaurant. I had left my back pack and she grabbed it and brought it out to me as I was leaving. Her work ethic, kindness and consistent positive attitude left me wondering why I had not recruited her to work with Eagle Center for Leadership!
Kendra loved what she was doing even if she didn’t love the restaurant business. She made a choice to make the best of her situation. She chose to face her difficulties with a positive attitude and "can do” spirit instead of becoming a victim. Don’t think that I am a naïve optimist. I know that she has probably made some bad decisions in her life. But haven't we all? The question is not will we make wrong choices in life. The question is do we have the resilience to push forward and not allow those failures to define us? Can we learn from our mistakes?
Kendra reminded me that life is about facing our struggles with determination and perseverance. It's about failing, then choosing to learn and grow from those failures. It's about making a difference.