Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's your CHOICE - we can always CHOOSE


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good moodand always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, hewould reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was havinga bad day, Michaelwas 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 Michaeland asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How doyou do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Mike, youhave two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in abad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. "Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I canchoose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. "Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept theircomplaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side oflife." "Yeah, right, it isn't that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Michael said. Life is all about choices. When you cut awayall the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. Youchoose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood."The bottom line is: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the towerindustry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I madea choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a seriousaccident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery andweeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed inhis back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how hewas, 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 hismind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was thewell being of my soon-to-be- born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on theground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I couldchoose to die. I chose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I wasgoing to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions onthe faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's adead man.' I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shoutingquestions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I tooka deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity.' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I amchoosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of hisamazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to livefully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

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