Mr. Gerhardt enjoyed working with Mr. Furst. It was not only his sense of calm when faced with a business crisis and not even his sense of humor. What made an impression was his unique approach to every situation.
One night Mr. Gerhardt was invited to dinner by the Fursts. The table was meticulously set and the seating arranged to efficiently accommodate the large crowd of family and friends in attendance. “This is just the way he does things,” Mr. Gerhardt thought to himself as he observed the guests enjoying delectable salads and hors d’oeuvres accompanied by friendly chatter.
Then he noticed that every item on the table was served in two or even three plates or bowls. “Strange,” he thought. “How come such an elaborate dinner wasn’t served in large serving dishes?”
The next morning at the office he complimented his friend on the beautiful dinner and thanked him for the invitation to participate. Then he sheepishly asked, “I was wondering … how come you served multiple small portions?”
“Oh,” Mr. Furst replied, “I always look for a better way to do things. I never like to wait for anyone to pass the salads, so I decided to place several smaller serving dishes of each salad and appetizer on the table so that my guests wouldn’t have to wait.”
“Great idea!” Mr. Gerhardt said.
Successful people are generally not satisfied with the status quo. Their view of any situation is “There must be a better way to…” Even subtle minor changes can improve an accepted way of doing things. An incredibly efficient life starts with the thought must be a better way!”
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Some people accomplish a great deal in spiritual matters, yet they’re unhappy because they think they might be able to accomplish more “somewhere else.” They live with the general feeling that whatever they’re engaged in, is nothing compared to what they might possibly be able to do. This feeling is poison that destroys joy and happiness. While you should try to accomplish as much as you can, it’s frequently an illusion that you’re missing out by not being “somewhere else.” (Rabbi Yosef Leib Bloch, Shiurei Daat, vol. 2, p. 150)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.