DJ Harrington - Fuel for Thought
DJ Harrington – Fuel for Thought

A great title for this article.  This original title was chosen for a book written by the late Erma Bombeck, “If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?”  What a real down-to-earth lady she was.  All of us at some time or another feel like we’re in the pits. We’re in the pits because we’re considered a cast-off or the last to be thanked for our efforts. We work hard on our business and all of sudden…SMACK…we get kicked in the face.

Coming up at the end of the month, I will be speaking for a large pharmacist group in St. George, Utah. What’s do cherries and cherry pits have to do with us and pharmacists? I know what you’re thinking – we’re not pharmacists! We go to the local pharmacy – that’s all. However, the pharmacists are just like us. They need people skills, and we need people skills. We should hire people that have good attitudes and can get along well with other people. We can teach the hard skills of driving a tow truck or working in the yard.

Last week, I heard a manager yell at a worker, calling him an IDIOT.  Maybe without realizing it, the manager just put a label on this person. Labels like this can last awhile. Hearing that conversation reminds me of the grocery store aisle where they place the damaged goods. Everything in that aisle is “damaged goods” because of one reason or another. Some are damaged cans; others are expired, “out-of-date” items. The outside of the cans maybe damaged, but the insides are not. Insides are still good. Those of you reading this column get out of the damaged goods aisle and go where you can believe in yourself. Don’t listen to what others may say. Maybe they’re saying that you can’t make it.  You are not what people say you are; you are what you feel you are. You have heard me say, “Whatever you think about, it will come about.” If you think business is going to be good, business will be good. However, if you feel you won’t pull through the month, you won’t. Right?

In life, all of us make mistakes. I have made a ton of mistakes myself. At that point, I felt like I had fallen, but I knew I wasn’t a failure. I did what that old Frank Sinatra song said to do…”I’ve been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing. Each time I find myself laying flat on my face; I just pick myself up and get back in the race.”

“That’s Life” is the song title. I can still hear “Old Blue Eyes” singing that song. Fans of all ages know of whom I am speaking. What a message in that song! Life does happen and all those life experiences aren’t fun. Life’s not a bowl of cherries. It can be sweet one minute and tart another. We can’t eat the pit. We don’t consume it. So, part of what we get isn’t good.  It’s not good for us to eat the pit, but it helps create and mold the cherry. The cherry pit is really the negative part of the cherry…the part we can’t consume or fix.  Negative voices you’ll experience in life will always play louder and can last longer in your mind. Whether it’s in your own head or being yelled at you, doesn’t matter. Keep positive thoughts and think good stuff and you’ll have a “cherry-of-a-day.”

It’s my hope that you take my articles, the ones you like, and pass them around the office. Let other team members have access to these articles. One particular company cuts the article out each month and makes copies to add to each payroll envelope. This way, the company knows the team members are having a better chance to read a positive article.

Some of you will remember this suggestion from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”

Oh yeah, I was asked if I celebrate each birthday of every employee. No, I don’t!  But one day a month, I do.  We bring in a cake, and everyone who has a birthday during that month is recognized and celebrated together. Don’t let even one employee feel like they’re the pit. We need to put fun back into our business.

See you next time.

DJ Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He can be reached at 800-352-5252 or by e-mail at