Wednesday, April 28, 2010
john is the kind of guys you love to hate. he is always in a good mood and always has 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 natural motivator. if an employee was having a bad day, john 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 and asked him, "i don't get it!" "you can't be a positive person all of the time. how do you do it?" he replied, "each morning i wake up and say to myself, 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 chose 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. 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," he 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 affect your mood. you choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. the bottom line: it's your choice how you live your life."
i reflected on what he said. soor hereafter, i left the tower 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 he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. after 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
i saw him about six months after the accident. when i asked him how he was, he replied, "if i were any better, i'd be twins. want to see my scars?" i declined to see his wounds, but i did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
"the first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be-born daughter," he replied. "then, as i lay on the ground, 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. he continued, "the paramedics were great. they kept telling me i was going to be fine. but when they wheeled me into the e.r. 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 john. "she asked if i was allergic to anything," "yes," i replied. the doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. i tood a deep breath and yelled, GRAVITY." over their laughter, i told them, "i am choosing to live. operate on me as if i am alive, not dead."
he lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. i learned a lot from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. attitude, after all, is everything.
you have two choices now!
i heard this story in sunday school and meant to ask the teacher for a copy but forgot as i hurried off to my next class. later that day after arriving home for some time, i wandered into my office and found it placed on my desk. sam read my mind and made sure to pick it up for me :) i hope to always remember this. pass it on.