150 Degrees of Connection

By Laurie Grace

Wisdom, not from the saints or sages but from everyday life, is all around us and there for the taking, only if we will listen.

In my coaching practice, I do quite a bit of networking. I’ve been attending East Dallas Networking luncheon group for a while now. The people in that group embody community in a special way.

I have taken time to get to know several of them through one-on-one meetings, during those individual conversations we talk about our businesses, our backgrounds, and personal interests. We focus on getting to know the other person. I have met some truly interesting people.

Recently, I had a one-on-one visit with a lively, friendly air conditioner repairman who is a longtime member of the group. We set aside an hour to talk at Starbucks, and he kicked off the conversation.

“What I do is pretty straightforward: I fix things that are broken,” he said. “I stay very busy but [it] only [feels like] work about one month a year, which is in July when attics are about 150 degrees. Other than that, I help people. That’s what I do.”

I paused. Wow. This was his heartfelt story. No fabrication, no “turning lemons into lemonade.” This man had it figured out. It was plain and simple to him. He demonstrated a spirit of contentment and satisfaction with his job. How refreshing.

In our free country, we are blessed to have the opportunity to choose our work. But, how well do we choose? Personally, I know that I chose my first career for all of the wrong reasons. Hey, what did I know at 18 years old when I was entering college? I am a few years older now, and I’ve learned a bit since then.

I know that life is a matter of choices and actions. The more I ask “why am I doing this,” the better off I am. I’ve learned to align my actions with my values. Otherwise, I’ve found that I’m simply busy being busy and am left feeling tired and discontented.

When I am clear on what matters most to me, my life decisions seem so much easier … and richer. When I am living out my values, things tip to a “want to” frame of mind instead of the notorious “have to.” The difference between those two is immeasurable.

From advice from an A/C repairman to reading a philosophy book, wisdom is in the air.

Laurie Grace, an East Dallas resident, owns and operates Laurie Grace Coaching, which helps people work toward a higher level of success in life, relationships, and business.


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