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Having a Positive Attitude

This morning, Thursday, my day off, I went to Starbucks for coffee, their cranberry and orange scone and to work on this article. Just as I booted my laptop, I struck a conversation with a lady at the next table. She was from northern Nevada and was here on business. While talking of our life’s situation, she commented on the fact I was very upbeat and looked happy and content even though I was a taxi driver and just earning a minimum wage.

This reminded me of something that happened about a week ago. A driver started after I was. Lately he complained about everything, vehicles having to be brought in and the loss of time on the road and possible earnings, bad or no tips and anything he could complain about. This man is around my age and I was afraid he would explode and go “postal” on one of his customers or in the office.

I started talking to him and explained to him, yes, we have a lousy job with long hours and bad pay. I told him about my last job in Florida, the great pay and how I lost it and moved to the Philippines.
I also asked him if there was any better option for us for employment at our age and being in the state and city with the highest unemployment in the nation.

I told him he needed to learn to enjoy the good parts of the job. Practically every day we have a customer who brings enjoyment to our day. It could be someone from our hometown or from a place, we had visited so we can talk about that. It might be someone who has an interesting story to tell you or something you can learn about life or places. It can be someone who gives you a huge tip just because they enjoy your treatment and safe driving.

I told him how I engage customers in conversation and the stories and jokes I use in the car. I told him how I stock up on bottled water in the morning and offer it to my customers.

I also mentioned, even if he tries to be happy and upbeat but is depressed, it shows through. If he expected to get the best from this job, he has to give some of himself to get in return.

Look, remember the good, and put the bad in the back of his mind. Have fun with the job. Many have told me, especially my wife I am a “talker.” This is true. I love to engage almost anyone in conversation. I learn from the others and enjoy the different views and stories from others. This makes my day go by faster, energizes me and I think my customers enjoy their ride in my taxi too. With their enjoyment comes a better tip too. I have had a $40 tip on a $12 ride one morning. The customer asked me about driving a taxi and I told him about the hours and pay. When he paid me, he told me he wanted to start my day on a good note.

It is defiantly harder to be positive and upbeat than depressed. It takes work and a conscience effort some days, but gets easier as time goes by. Depression is the safest place to be since anything that goes bad just adds and proves the reasons to be depressed.

Maybe from my time in the Philippines and seeing how many Filipinos live and the things I had to do without living there gave me a better outlook on life and needs.

Years ago we would always talk about wanting a better job, now we are happy having a job. Look for the “silver lining” in the clouds and find ways to give yourself and those around you positive look at life and learn to enjoy the little things life and nature has to offer.

25 Responses to “Having a Positive Attitude”

  1. Marvin says:

    Right on Bruce, living in a third world can really make you appreciate simplicity and those little blessings that may come your way once in awhile.

  2. don m. says:

    your head is sure on right. We always remeber the bad and fudge over all the good. Hang in their buddy and thanks for bring a smile to my face. The months sure do go by faster then we ever knew possible.

  3. Randall says:

    Hi, Bruce, my first time to comment here. So… do you drive a cab in Davao? Did I read that right?
    Guess I need to dig more into your blog and find out about you.

    It is the small things in life that make you happy, and the “not looking” for them that leads to depression. It is a constant battle of the mind.

    Glad you love the Philippines as much as I do! Stop by my blog sometime..Thanks

  4. Ben says:

    I think age plays a part for some us. It has me. Thanks for reminding us to keep a “positive attitude”. Hope all is going well for you and Elena, despite the many miles that separate you and her physically.

  5. Caesar Erel O. Macahilig says:

    Hi Bruce,

    You know, in our everyday activities, as we make a living, its all up to us to decide to start the day on a good note or not. Obviously, if one would think it will be a long darn boring day without or few customers, well it will happen. But if you think otherwise, you will be surprise what the day will bring to you.

    Indeed having a positive attitude in life or on your work will make things much easier to go through. Thank you for setting an example for the many readers of your blog.


    • Bruce says:

      You are right and knowing you, you show a great example of how, even when life is hard, to be positive, happy and a good friend. I miss you my good friend.

      Send my regards and prayers to your family.

  6. joanna says:

    Hi Bruce
    Hi there! Im Joanna, ive been living in Davao for almost three years now and still likes to live here, im from Manila and owns a house there but since my dad died here i decided to give it a try here…but luck isnt just so near yet, life here isnt that fruiful for me and my the way im a single mom. Anyway thank you for sharing your thoughts to everyone here, im sure you inspire everybody especially those who are so depressed….Oh since i9 think you roam around more than me (coz im so stucked with my job everyday) can you suggest where are the best place to go? i have an american friend who is visiting Davao,end of this month, its a budgeted trip though,,,thanks ..hope to hear from you soon…

    • Bruce says:


      There are some good places an American might enjoy to stay and restaurant he will enjoy on a budget. Red Knight Garden in Guadalupe Village is a good place to stay and eat. There is also Boyd’s on Palma Gill, off J.P. Laural in Obrero. Elena told me if you like, she can assist you. If so, let me know and I will email you her phone number.

  7. angelica says:

    hi Bruce!
    More power to you, and I hope ate Elena would get to be with you asap. It’s been almost 4-5 months. I and Todd are still waiting for the USCIS result, and it’s been almost 3months since he submitted the requirements 🙁 still long time to wait. But just as you, I will hold on the positive view.

    • Bruce says:

      I am glad you let us know of your progress. I too am waiting for USCIS. It is in the review and background check and hope to pass soon. Keep in touch and give my regards to your sister and mom.

  8. Bruce is a mentally strong man! I can tell without even ever have met him in real life. I am jobless here in my country and it is hard. It is difficult times, but I will never give up! Thanks Bruce, hope the time will fly so you can meet Elena soon again. I am preparing more and more for a life in the Philippines. At least I want to try it.

  9. Evelyn says:

    wonderful topic..
    thanks for writing about this..
    it helps us perk up when we r feeling down sometimes..
    thanks ,bruce,and have an enjoyable day there ..

  10. don m. says:

    We need a new insert bruce keep up up to date. Best as always from don and mercy

  11. Leon says:

    This site is dead.

  12. Neal in RI says:

    Hey Bruce
    Just figured to drop you a line, I read here before and commented when you was still in the Phil, just letting you know I am still reading and can understand the lack of activity as it sounds like you are putting in some long hours. Hang in there!

  13. Jonathan says:

    Hi Bruce

    Still checking back from time to time to see how you are getting on. Hope everything is ok

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