“You luke like a moteevated guy!” He said in a foreign accent. A little surprised, I just shrugged. “How are you a motivated guy?” He pressed me. “Just the way I was born.” I said cooly, a little caught off guard by the tailor of the place I was picking up my suit for my niece’s wedding from. “Born that way?” He chuckled, “I thought maybe it was za energy drink or something!”
I’m not sure he didn’t have the disease I think they call “blurting,” but I love it when someone opens the door to their life and invites me in to take a look around. “Why are you motivated?” I blurted – I mean, returned the question. “Oh – I don’t know.. Maybe not moteevated – I happy… One man is happy is the other man’s crap! – You know?” He explained in his broken accent. “I know exactly,” I responded, “You love what you do – I’d say that’s true success.” “Yes – Yes!” He agreed, “Maybe I not rich, but I do okay – I happy!” He explained with the cloth tape measure draped around his collar, as his eyes peered out over the skinny reading glasses with his bushy brown eye brows casting shadows over them.
I grinned as he went on to wait on another customer while his wife was in back removing the tags from the jacket and pre-tying my tie so I wouldn’t have to find someone to do it for me later. Tying a tie is just one of those things I couldn’t ever bring myself to pay attention to as a kid or even now as an adult.
Maybe seldom ever having to tie a tie, or better yet, wear one, is a sign of success? It truly does make me happy to not have one of those things around my neck… Maybe the person defining success should measure from the inside out instead of visa versa?
The older foreign tailor and I have much in common, I just don’t think he knew it. That small custom tailor shop that sells suits of the same or better quality than the high-end men’s shops for less money has been in that strip mall a long time. That man and his family have been working diligently for decades at a business he refuses to let fail against all odds.
I sense the gratification in those tired eyes. He knows that hard work and perseverance bring joy to the soul of the person whose hands and minds toil relentlessly to accomplish their goals and dreams. His work ethic and attitude is more American than many of the Americans I see daily.
I believe society has twisted the meaning of success and happiness. People now seek fun, rest, and relaxation as the meaning of those words. How many people do a job they loathe, but are too scared to attempt to live out their real passion? Worse yet are the ones who do give their dreams a go, seeking happiness and success, but throw in the towel at the first, second, or third sign of adversity?
We as a society have been tricked into believing adversity is a bad thing.
Without adversity there is no hero.
Without pressure there is no growth.
Without failure there is no true understanding of success and happiness.
If we can grasp physically pushing against a weight will ultimately make us stronger, why can’t we grasp it mentally or spiritually?
“You happy wit de soot?” He asked as I was leaving. “Sure!” I answered with a smile, “More importantly my wife is happy!”
He chuckled and waved…
Some things are universal…