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“When our faces are toward the sunshine, we will not see the shadows.”
I was well into my first cup of coffee this morning when I came across the above quote. I was still thinking about the quote, letting it sink in along with the caffeine, as I dove into cup #2. Then, I opened my e-mail and one of my gals had sent me the following story. The theme of the day had obviously taken shape, so I thought I’d pass it along.
“Michael is the kind of guy 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
He was a natural motivator.
If an employee was having a bad day, Michaell 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
Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it!
You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”
Michael 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 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,” Michael 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 bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your
choice how you live your life.”
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon 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 Michael was involved in a serious
accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was
released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I saw Michael 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 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,” Michael 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.
Michael continued, “..the paramedics were great.
They kept telling me I was going to be fine.But when they wheeled me
into the ER 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
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
took 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.”
Michael 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’ll never strain your eyes looking on the bright side of things.”
Make each moment count double,