This is a story about Michael, and how he chose to start his day each morning. Michael is the kind of guy you would “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 natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was always there telling that employee 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 the time. How do you do it?” Michael replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘Mike, 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 just choose to be in a good mood. Each time something happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn something from it. I choose to learn something from it.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.
“Yes, it is,” said Michael. “Life is about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You can choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good or bad mood. The bottom line is… it’s your choice how you live life.“
I reflected upon what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the tower industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about Michael when I made a choice about life instead of just reacting to it. Several years later I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some sixty feet from a communication tower. After eighteen hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. About six months after the accident, I asked Michael how he was.
He said, “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. 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. I remembered my initial conversations with the nurse. She had asked me if I was allergic to anything,” said Michael. “’Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as if they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and replied, ‘Gravity.’ Over their laughter I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I’m alive and not dead.’”
Michael lived, thanks to the skills of the doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have a choice to live fully. Attitude, after all is everything. Today… you choose.
(Based on the story “Attitude is Everything” by Francie Baltzar-Schwartz)
Pastor George Belobaba
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