Read this, and let it really sink in . . . Then choose how you continue the year 2021 and how you plan to start your day tomorrow . . .
Jerry 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’d 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. 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 to react to situations. 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 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 the 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 would 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 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 had to take action”.
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” Jerry said. “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 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, can change what happens! Anonymous Author
Choose Your Trajectory
Are you a person like Jerry? We may not be able to change how we’ve been gifted, but we can choose our attitude! Jerry’s story reminds me of the famous Winston Churchill quote: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Both Churchill and Jerry beat the odds by choosing to be positive. An attitude even determines the kind of tenants who you choose to live in your apartment.
Window to Success
One practical way we can set our attitude is carving out a block of time every morning for selfcare; I call it the “Window to Success”. Most highly successful people prioritize time for the spiritual, physical, intellectual, and relational aspects of their lives.
Choose to make daily declarations about who you would like to become. I grew up with a great role model who used positive affirmations to set his attitude. Personally, I write out daily declarations on flash cards and use them in the morning to program my mind with the right thoughts. Here’s a list to help get you started on your own list of daily affirmations:
- “The most important thing I do each day is love and obey God.”
- “If things in my life are to change, I must change first.”
- “I supply the best rental housing for ___ families living in California.”
- “I love myself and others very much and have unconditional warm feelings toward all persons at all times.” (Even tenants!) OR “The most important things in my life are God, family and others.”
- “I enjoy doing things promptly and in order of their importance. My motto is: Do it now – don’t delay, do it today.”
- “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit or opportunity” OR “All things work together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.” – Bible
- “If I want different results from what I am currently getting, I must do different things!”
- “Growth comes from effort and extending myself beyond what is comfortable.”
- “The more I give during the year, the more I will receive.”
- “If I think it and believe it, by the grace of God, I am achieving it.”
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Yes, we can choose a lot of what happens around us. Let’s join together and choose to make 2021 the greatest year ever