Sunday Snippet with Dr. Crane

“Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.”

I would like to start up my own blog, but I just don’t have the time or energy to do that right now. My company would be able to make more international sales, but the current exchange rate just isn’t that favorable. My restaurant would be more popular if it were not for this odd location and if I had more advertising money.

What do all three of these statements have in common? They all look at how things would be if circumstances were a little different. They talk about how much better life would be if all the ducks just lined themselves up in a row, but the fact of the matter is that the situation is never going to be perfect and you will always have to make do with what you have.

The quote comes from Dr. Frank Crane, the Presbyterian minister and columnist who also wrote a collection of four-minute essays called Timeless Wisdom. He discusses several moral issues, including the qualities of honesty, courage and inner peace. And true courage doesn’t mean that you are never afraid; it just means that you keep moving forward despite your fears, focusing on what you can control and not worrying as much about everything else.

Instead of living life for what may be, rather than looking at what you would do based on how things could be, our time and energy is much better spent on doing what we can with how things really are. And it’s not just about striving for better outcomes for ourselves. There’s more to it, especially in the context of business.

“A man that makes a habit, every deal he goes into, of asking himself, “What is there in it for the other fellow?” and who refuses to enter into any transaction where his own gain will mean disaster to some one else, cannot go for wrong.”

We should not assume that success is a zero sum game, because we should always be working toward a win-win situation with our business associates and partners. Regardless of circumstances, you shouldn’t have to push someone else down in order to get a leg up. We can all profit and prosper.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the image at the top of this post, I couldn’t find any great pictures of Dr. Frank Crane, so I got the next best thing: Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane. They’re both Dr. F. Crane and that’s close enough, right? We can’t all win all the time, after all.