Life Through Ben’s Glasses: The Power of Positivity

One Man’s Amazing Perspective on the Power of Positivity

Yes, I’m having a bad day

“Have you ever had one of those days?” were the first words I heard as I crawled into the back seat of the Hilton Hotel van. It was 11:00 at night in Toronto, and I had been traveling all day, delayed for several hours in one airport, stuck in a middle seat, sandwiched in-between Mr. and Mrs. Shrek who, it seemed, had just come from a vacation in the swamp. So when my van driver asked if I had ever had one of those days, my immediate reaction was, “Yes, in fact, I am having one of those days as we speak.”

“Name’s Ben. So how is it one of those days?” asked the skinny, older man with big, thick glasses. I responded by moaning about nearly everything I could think of while he just sat there and listened. When I was through, Ben said, “Sorry to hear that. But when I said, ‘Have you ever had one of those days,’ I meant I was having a GREAT day. MmmHuh, everything has been going right. I have been working for six…no, make that 7 hours, and every passenger has been right on time for my pickups. Everybody has been nice as can be, and the tips haven’t been too bad either. Yup, it sure is one of those days.”

The power of positivity

Ben got me to crack a smile. He then went on to give me a quick lesson on customer service, without even knowing it. I said to him, “I must be your last pick up tonight.”

He responded with a warm smile on his face, “You might be. I get off work in ten minutes, but I usually stick around for an extra half hour and make one more late run, just to check and see if anybody is stranded. Nobody should ever be left at an airport late night…especially after a long day’s work.”

What a super attitude this guy had. And this internal attitude produced an outward energy that hit me right between the eyes. While Ben wasn’t trying to make me feel guilty for being so negative about my day, that’s what he did. And I deserved to feel guilty. While I did have a long day, so what? Who cares? Get over it Sullivan! And stop infecting everybody around you with it.

After witnessing the PRIDE that man took in his job, and realizing his ability to make me realize just how lucky I am, I leaned up from the backseat towards Ben and asked, “What makes you so positive?” He said, “Sir, it’s like I tell my grandkids all the time. It takes fewer muscles in the face to create a smile than it does a frown. I guess you can say that my face is just kinda lazy. And these thick glasses I see through have a way of filtering out the negative and help me see only the positive. They don’t work all the time, but most of the time.”

As I sit here typing about that night in the van, I find myself smiling again. And I am reminded of each of our ability to affect those around us with a smile, a greeting, a thank you, or a simple lesson like the one Ben taught me. So often we choose to look for reasons things aren’t going perfectly for us, or forget to be thankful for what we have. But if we look at life through Ben’s glasses, our world might be a bit more enjoyable.

President of Kansas City-based PRECISE Selling, Brian delivers seminars and internet training programs on sales, customer service, leadership and presentation skills to companies of all sizes. To find out more, visit him at or email Brian at