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02/04/2010

Meet Earl Jones: A Study in Positive Attitude

Annie and I are not far away from our exciting move to NYC. For the past couple months, I've been testing the waters by staying with a friend in Hoboken, NJ and commuting to Manhattan to work. To get to our offices at New Work City, I take the NY/NJ PATH train that goes under the Hudson River. I get out at the first stop, Christopher Street, and that's where I'm greeted by Earl Jones every morning.

Right after I step off the train, I can hear Earl's voice at the exit. Earl makes it a point to say good morning to every single person that passes by him. But not just a typical good morning chant, he adds a lot of passion and personal flare to it. He nods, smiles, fist bumps, cheers, and bows to each person. It's amazing to watch and you can't help but smile.

Over time, we've mastered, what Earl calls, "the long range shot." I'll start with my fist in the air several yards from him, once he sees my fist, he raises his and says, "Awwww yah! Here's comes the long range shot." Then slowly our fists meet in the air and he looks me in the eyes and says, "Make today a great day." 

I've come to consider Earl a staple of my morning commute, and the days when he's not there, I can feel the gap in energy. In looking around at other people who pass him, I can tell I'm not alone in feeling his energy.

Earl Jones is a PATH train worker. He probably gets paid city wages, doesn't work for tips, and his job is pretty monotonous. On paper, his outlook doesn't seem that great. His attitude, however, would make you think he won the lottery each and every day, AND he's willing to share his lottery winnings with every person that exits at Christopher Street.

While Earl probably doesn't know the impact of what he does, like a virus, he infects all of us with positivity as we head to work. I know I pass it on to my co-workers, and now, I'm writing about it on a site that will be read by people as far away as Indonesia!

I believe in the phrase, "Hire for attitude, train for skill." With his attitude, I suspect Earl is going to see a lot of opportunities start coming his way over the next year. Positivity begets positivity.

Personal choice of attitude trumps external factors any day. Try to channel your inner Earl Jones at least once over the next week, and see how it makes you feel. See how it makes other people feel, and make it a great day!

*fist bump*


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