“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
W. Clement Stone
One of my son-in-laws father recently had a near death experience. He had a severe circulatory problem that required immediate major surgery that would provide him the chance to survive. The operation lasted nearly eight hours and thankfully he lived but not without complications. It turns out that the aneurysm that created the problem had restricted blood flow to one leg for some time and so two days later they had to amputate the leg just below the knee.
We all know how devastating such a loss can be, often resulting is major depression and mental agony. I have known this man for only a few years and view him as a special friend. He lives in a small town with his wonderful wife and has one of the nicest families I have ever met. They exude kindness, good will and soft humor. He is the kind of guy you would love to have in your family.
I went to visit him this past weekend fully expecting that he would need some support to help him through the shock of the loss of a leg. I was totally wrong for I found a man who while in pain was in high spirits. You see my friend chose not to focus on the loss of his leg but on the fact that he had avoided a catastrophic problem. His smile and good humor was inspirational and I left feeling fortunate to know him.
Here is a story about another man who chose to survive and then thrive. I hope you enjoy it. I don’t know who wrote it.
WE HAVE TWO CHOICES:
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator.
If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”
Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.
“Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”
I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.
Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'”
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
A policeman recently stopped a woman for exceeding the posted speed limit. He asked the driver her name and where she was from.
She said, “I’m Mrs. Gladiolas Abdulkhashim Zybkcicraznovskaya from the Republic of Uzbekistan visiting my daughter in Tallahassee.”
The cop put away his summons book and pen, and said, …”Well… OK… but don’t let me catch you speeding again.”
I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I don’t know what to feed it.
Abe Spitzberg meets David Rosenbaum in the little back alley where they park their cars out of sight so that they can be seen to be walking to the Synagogue. “Hallo David, I am so pleased to see you! It’s my parents’ Golden wedding anniversary next week and I would like you come to the party.”
“That’s nice, Abe. Thank you, yes, I will come.”
“Maybe you have some friends you can bring mit you, yes? It’s nice to have many people at a party!”
“Yes… I can bring Sammy Cohen, and also Itzy Schwartz.”
“Good, good! Only don’t forget to remind them to bring something gold.”
“Okay! I’ll tell them.”
So David Rosenbaum brought a goldfish, Sammy Cohen brought a jar of Gold Blend coffee and Itzy Schwartz brought Nat Goldstein.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. Quit practicing what you’re going to do, and just do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today.
A fellow sees a job published on a building site which read:
“Handy man wanted – Apply within”
So he ambles inside and the following dialogue with the Site Manager takes place:
Manager: Can you drive a forklift?
Manager: Can you lay brick?
Manager: Can you do minor electrical work?
Manager: Can you finish drywall?
Applicant: Uh, Nope
Manager: Have you done any plumbing?
Applicant: Hmmnn… Nope
Manager: So, what’s handy about you, buddy?
Applicant: I only live ’bout 7 minutes up the road.
No matter what obstacles may come your way, stay focused, stay positive and you WILL overcome them.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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