This past weekend was a good one for me in Chicago. It was great to get away (but it is “always” great to get back home as well). On the way to the hotel from the airport in Chicago I had a conversation with a lady cab driver by the name of Erica. She was a middle aged African American woman and at first we talked about music (and my career). As the conversation went on, she revealed things about her that made my career appear “secondary.” She had said that her son had been brutally murdered at the age of 22. She said that her husband lost his job around that same time and while she supported him he decided to have an extra marital affair on her. Also around that same time some of her closest family members passed away suddenly. During that time she actually thought she had been cursed. She thought that bad things like this should never happen to people who try to be good. I thought I was going to have to reach into my “philosophy cabinet” and pull out the heavy “stay positive” speech on her but I found there was “no need” for it. She was upbeat and very positive, because she had decided to take the negative energy from her circumstances and direct it towards a positive result. She went into business and made a website that promotes positivity through logos on clothing and other forms. Her caption is “Positively Expressing Yourself” and you can check her out at WWW.facebook.com/positivelyforyou. Her email account is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her name is Erica Hodge and I invite you to contact her. If you have experienced (or are experiencing” tragedy in your life you may want to reach out to her. I told her that I have “always” believed in “re-channeling negative energy” and it was a pleasure to come across someone who thought the same way. Instead of focusing on her son’s death, she decided to celebrate his life and refocus now on his kids (her grandkids). I told her that it would be my honor to put out a plug and promote her concept. The ironic part of our exchange was that when it came to leaving to go back to the airport she was not available to take me. Instead she called one of her co-workers to come get me and on the ride back he told me “his” life story. He had 6 kids (He had some kind of Arabic name that I could not remember). However, his world came crumbling down when his wife divorced him. He had been doing drugs and he had been a well paid engineer in his country. Once he arrived here he found that his degree “didn’t mean anything” so he had no other choice but to drive cabs to make money. I listened to him and I told him that it’s not where he comes from that determines the true value of his life but rather where he is headed. I told him the best way he can make an impression on his ex-wife and his kids is to show them that he has changed. I asked him if he had any goals left at this stage in life and he admitted them to me. I then informed him that each venture in life starts with the “very first step.” You can take the negative energy that you had been experiencing and use it to motivate and inspire you to accomplish great things. I informed him that as long as you live you can continue to grow and alter your life for the better. As the conversation went on I could actually “see” his face glow. He “knew” he needed to hear this and he was taking it ALL in… I think he even drove slower” just so that we could talk more. I informed him that a great life depends heavily on what you invest into it. You can accomplish anything as long as you rid yourself of the word “can’t.” He thanked me a LOT when we arrived at the airport and he said that I was his “greatest client ever.” He said that he would stay in contact with me and that his life has now changed from the moment I became his customer. That made me feel very special as well. We are all on a planet where we need each other to sustain our lives. While things may seem traumatic at times it doesn’t mean that it has to “stay” that way. As long as you can re-channel negative energy you can salvage and redirect your life direction. Erica Hodge told me something that eventually helped her own co-worker. Just these events alone made this a “great trip” for me… Hopefully you will get the message as well… “When you can’t erase tragedies you can re-direct them.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very “best” that life has to offer.
Stevie Wonder and Brett Jolly