Monday, September 19, 2011

Aarduous Täsk

My friend Manny made up the name Aarduous Täsk when we worked at Paddy's Restaurant in Misquamicut one summer.  The restaurant business brought out the need for a well-conceived and smartly-expressed sense of humor to offset the regular battery of in-your-face confrontations that would occur at any point in the day, busy and hectic or slow and labored.  The ability to laugh in the face of offense became as important a skill as knowing where the lemon-wedges were in the walk-in cooler during lunch-time.  Your ability to pay the rent was in direct relationship with your ability to maintain a aggressively healthy attitude.

Attitude is important.  Other names for it are "heart", "backbone", "spirit", "gumption".  It's not muscle or speed that wins at the Olympics, though without those you'll never even get there- at the end of the trial it's attitude that brings you to the Gold Medal.  What a waste to get there and lose, because you had no attitude in place.

The deal with attitude is that you don't get any, unless you get yourself into that special position of being sold-out to what you're doing.  It's another example of "taking the plunge", as it were:  You have to walk into it and get up to your chest- you have to be where you can't get out any more without going all the way through.  This kind of decision-making immediately changes things in your life and perspective, and now the only thing that's very sharply focused in your field of vision is THE GOAL... it's such that a kind of desperation sets in, the kind of desperation that creates that sharp focus.  A low level of adrenalin becomes present in your system, and the prospect of trying to escape the present situation threatens to invite panic, and then loss... but the prospect of completion, of attainment- that becomes a shining beacon before you.  Properly reconciled, all that is good, bright and hopeful awaits at the end of your now full-on, all-consuming commitment.  You don't get attitude without getting some dirt on your face, a little (or a lot of) grime under your fingernails.  You're going to have to clean up when you're all done- but it's a mark of successful rite-of-passage to where you need to be in your life.

Get some attitude.  It doesn't mean you have to become unfriendly, or unkind, or boorish to your friends, it just means learning that the real muscle comes from within. 

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