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The great job of Toll Collector

Raise your hand if the job of Toll Collector sounds like one of the great jobs available. Many of us might think that being a toll collector is a job to be avoided. The job requires you sit in a six by four box for hours a day, breathing smog and touching dirt money.

Perhaps it depends on how we define a “good job”


A number of years ago I had the good fortune to listen to a CD audio program on the subject of Personal Success. The course was presented by Tom Hopkins, a well-known sales trainer who I find entertaining even if he can be sappy, quirky and goofy. I highly recommend Tom's books and audio courses.


In the course, Tom attempts to show that success in life is not always about money. He tells a memorable story about a toll collector he met who was very happy with his job. Tom assumed that the job of toll collector would be unpleasant at best. He took a few minutes to speak with this man about what made him happy as a toll collector.


The man told Tom that the job paid better than expected and included benefits. The pay allowed him to own an RV, which he and his wife used to travel the country. The last advantage of the job was that he was able to take people's money all day. This man was happy and successful. The job fit his personality and fulfilled his needs. Therefore the toll collector could be considered successful.


Think about this story the next time you think that some jobs are beneath you. I lost ten years chasing dollars thinking I was reaching for success. Not until I focused on my passion for creating and writing did I find the meaning of happiness and success. Every time I pass through a toll booth I greet the collector warmly and think about this lesson.

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