Good Day or Bad Day. The Choice is Yours
I’ve been reading The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama recently, and it occurred to me that being happy, and making other people happy, is something that bartenders might want to focus on. After all, when we’re behind the bar we aren’t there to serve cocktails–we’re there to serve our guests. And if we make our guests feel just a little happier than they felt when they walked through that door, then we’re walking the Path of the Bartender.
How can we go about making our customers happy? One of the easiest ways is to be happy ourselves. Happiness can be infectious. I’m not suggesting that we put false smiles on our faces, and I’m not implying that we can be happy all the time, but I would like to suggest that there are times when we can choose to be happy rather than choosing to be sad or angry. Let me tell you a tale. A true tale.
A few years ago I was sitting at my desk, looking out on one of the most dismal days I’ve ever seen. The skies were dark, the wind seemed like it was gale-force, and the rain was pelting down on my driveway and bouncing right back up into the air. What an absolutely horrible day, I thought. It’s crappy out there. I was pretty miserable.
And as I sat there, wallowing in my misery, an email came in from an old friend in Manhattan. Someone I’ve known since the early seventies when I tended bar at Drake’s Drum. It contained just one sentence:
Isn’t it a Beautiful Rainy Day?
That email changed my life. I realized that I had a choice about how I felt about the weather. I chose to see the beauty in the wind and the rain, and the gorgeous darkened skies. I chose to be happy that I was warm and dry and had food in my stomach, and if I chose to take the day off work and make myself a big Hot Toddy with a dram or two of fabulous whiskey, then I could do that, too. Why would the weather make me miserable? I had so much to be thankful for.
The weather has never ever gotten to me since that day. Sometimes the weather has inconvenienced me, but it’s never made me unhappy since I read that email and realized that sometimes we can choose to be happy. That email changed my life.
Once you know that you can very often choose to be happy, then every time you go to work behind the stick, no matter what mood you’re in, you can ask yourself, “Is it possible for me to choose to be happy right now?” And if the answer is yes, then you’re walking the Path of the Bartender, because if you’re happy when you’re behind the bar, then guess what? Chances are that you’ll be making your customers happy, too.
You don’t believe me? Would you believe The British Medical Journal? Click here.