The Garbage Truck (Sharing A Post From Friend Collin)

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what’s important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.”

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happy you did.

So this was it: “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, “I’m not going to do anymore.” I began to see garbage trucks.

Like in the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.” Well, now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see the load they’re carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don’t make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwells on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about. The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? Here’s my bet. You’ll be happier.


Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t.

PS: This is a repost, completely copy and pasted from my friend Collin‘s blog:

29 thoughts on “The Garbage Truck (Sharing A Post From Friend Collin)

  1. Read this before and would like to internalize it from now onwards and keep it with me so as to use it at all times. tQ for the reminder. No one can make you angry unless YOU let them. Happy you are glad plus yippy you are back..Cheers

  2. Bravo Jingle for reposting this important message.

    The world is full of people who dump their anger and frustrations to others–even
    innocent bystanders. Only when one learns to ignore those garbage trucks or move past them one will achieve true serenity.
    Hope you’re well,

  3. There is such good advice here for everyone… I always remember the saying,” kill them with kindness.” Of course, not literally kill people, but things can only get you down if you allow people to have that power over you. I just always try to be kind, even if someone is unkind to me… I think that is the better choice, because I can still hold my head up high with a smile on my face and love in my heart. 🙂 heartspell

  4. “Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t.”

    I guess this is too simplistic for me. If we all just turned the other cheek all of the time, we would still have people riding in the back of the bus, we would still have people in this country not allowed to vote because of race, etc.

    Yes, I understand that if someone cuts me off in traffic, their problem is not my problem. I just don’t think this applies to all areas of life.

    I think it actually leads to letting people bully other people. My daughter’s teacher was angry yesterday because TWO students were not doing what she said. She gave the entire class an assignment as punishment. My daughter chose to tell the teacher that her behavior was not fair, and I also wrote a note supporting my daughter for speaking up.

    I think many injustices happen in our world because we tend to look the other way. Sometimes, if we are going to forget the people who do not treat us right, we are giving them permission to do the same thing to others.


  5. Such a good lesson, Jingle. I do get annoyed from time to time (doesn’t everyone?) but never to the point of unloading on someone who doesn’t deserve it.
    Some, however, deserve it.

  6. Ji, this was a great read! So positive and such an important message. I know I’ve certainly had my fair share of garbage trucks dump on me, and I’ve learned to pick myself up, dust myself up and keep smiling. We learn so much through experience of living everyday and I believe the only way to effect change is to keep smiling from the inside out. Anyway, it works for me. I’m glad I came by to visit your space today. Thanks for sharing. I have a picture for you, that I’ve been meaning to share… and I haven’t found the time till today. I saw it and thought of you. Please pick up from my page at some stage.
    ♥ Have a great weekend.

  7. Hi (Facebook User), (incorrect attribution)

    Thanks for recognizing the importance of David J. Pollay’s The Law of the Garbage Truck™. My name is David, and I work with David J. Pollay, the author of The Law of the Garbage Truck™. We appreciate your support and desire to help us spread the good word about David’s work.

    We’re excited to tell you that David’s story which started a movement is now a highly acclaimed book! I wanted to invite you to check out the new Facebook Page @ This page is a great resource for all things related to The Law, from interactive discussions on how to apply The Law in your life, to tour locations…and even links to where you can get your own copy of The Law of the Garbage Truck.

    You can also find out more information about The Law of the Garbage Truck on the information hub of the worldwide movement to increase happiness, success and civility. We’ll put up videos of people taking The Pledge around the world; reviews of the book; dates for when the book will launch in Spanish, Chinese and other languages; posters to download; resources you can use; updates on our World Tour; the latest happenings from our social media sties, and new ways you can participate in The Law of the Garbage Truck movement.

    Thanks again!


  8. Never thought about it that way….”Garbage trucks”!!! You just made me realize that I allow them to affect me almost always. Thank you for this post….I’ll try to apply this in my life as much as possible. Such an uplifting story….full of positivity!!!

  9. This was great…I have been applying this theory to my daily living but never knew there was a name for it….”The law of the garbage truck”…now I can back my attitude with a name…Thanks for sharing this, Jingle…I will share with some friends of mine.


  10. This is AWESOME!!

    Reminds me of the wonderful saying, “Always be kinder than necessary — we never know what someone is going through.”

    Sometimes I let go a little drama, usually in immediate family by being cranky or not compassionate enough, but I try to get on track again, and let the trash go.

    Super awesome post, Jingle. Collin and we all are lucky to know YOU!!


  11. Fantastic blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

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