Confession time: I think I’ve been making career and life choices the wrong way for a long time. And yes, I’m a life coach and trainer of leaders. What even?
A lot of paths I’ve taken have been dictated by the question: is this going to make me happy?
Now I wonder if I should have been asking if it will make other people happy.
My question comes after reading about “Melbourne’s happiest trammie”, an inner city tram driver called Bruce Whalley whose dedication to his job includes not just transporting Route 70 and 75 passengers safely but uplifting them on the journey.
Bruce got into tram driving in 2013 after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Until then he had a successful career in banking and finance. He was going to retire altogether but a mate suggested tram driving and he gave it a crack.
Anyone catching Bruce’s tram gets a colourful commentary that state MP John Kennedy described in parliament as being “unique, hilarious” and guaranteed to “brighten everyone’s day … [his] infectious happiness really boosts our community.”
Bruce, who has added a handlebar moustache and bowtie to his trammie’s uniform, receives almost daily gestures of thanks from customers, including notes, drawings and flowers. One child offered his pocket money.
He said making people smile every day is “heartwarming”.
So is the ‘Happy Trammie’s’ story. I’m going to start stalking Bruce’s routes now to experience his dose of happiness firsthand. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on making other people happy and see how much it boosts my own happiness.
What do you think about Bruce’s story?