Monday, October 28, 2013

Learn the secret of success from a shoeshine man

Albert Lexie has one skill: shining shoes. The 71-year-old began shining shoes at age 15, and he has been shining shoes twice a week at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh PA for 36 years. He takes two bus rides more than 90 minutes to get to work then spends each day wheeling his shoeshine cart around the hospital.  

Mr. Lexie has become a fixture at the hospital who means a lot to the employees and patients. When the family of a thirteen-year old boy couldn’t pay his medical bills due to layoffs and benefit loss, Mr. Lexie paid the $30,000 bill. The shoeshine man who many people probably overlook is a miracle to that family, and many others. 
Mr. Lexie has been shining shoes at Children’s Hospital for more than 36 years, and he has donated all of this tip money to the Hospital. As of June, he had donated more than $200,000.

Note, he is the shoeshine man, not a doctor, banker, CEO, big time author, rock star, or athlete. He is a simple man with priorities. He makes a difference at the hospital beyond the dollars, which is what causes the manager in the video to well up in tears just talking about Mr. Lexie.

This example came to mind today during a SMART Goal-Setting and Goal-Getting training session. I talked with the group about knowing yourself and what you want your life to be, so you can create it. 

Mr. Lexie didn’t set out to donate $200,000. He lives the kind of life that enabled him to donate for 36 years. Donating $200k would be a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for most of us, but the chances of accomplishing it increase immensely if we start today. We can’t wait until we are 71, with the perfect job, in the perfect home, raising the perfect kids, working with perfect colleagues to create the life we want.  

As we discussed in the SMART Goal sessions, think now about your life and reputation so you can create it now. Create the life and reputation you want deliberately. Don’t wait until your 95th birthday to wish you had been a certain way or done certain things. Figure out what those are and do them now.  

Well, don’t do them all at once. Be patient, like the shoeshine man. One shoe, or one step, at a time can lead toward accomplishing greatness.


No comments:

Post a Comment