A contractor that I hired to to do some repair work had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw broke down, and now his old pick-up truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in total silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family.
As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
After opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterwards, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree, and my curiosity got the better of me.
I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
“Oh, that’s my problems tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having problems on the job, but one thing for sure, problems don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children.
So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again.”
“Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
We can all learn from this inspirational story about problems and use it as a toast to inspire listeners to leave work problems outside of our family life!