THE LONGER I LIVE, THE MORE I REALIZE THE IMPACT OF ATTITUDE ON LIFE. ATTITUDE, TO ME IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE FACTS. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PAST, THAN EDUCATION, THAN SUCCESS, THAN WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OR SAY OR DO. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN APPEARANCE, GIFTEDNESS OR SKILL. IT WILL MAKE OR BREAK A COMPANY … A TEAM…a FAMILY…A HOME. THE REMARKABLE THINK IS YOU HAVE A CHOICE EVERYDAY REGARDING THE ATTITUDE YOU WILL EMBRACE FOR THAT DAY. WE CANNOT CHANGE OUR PAST… WE CANNOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT PEOPLE WILL ACT IN A CERTAIN WAY. WE CANNOT CHANGE THE INEVITABLE… THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS PLAY ON THE ONE STRING WE HAVE, AND THAT IS OUR ATTITUDE. I AM CONVINCED THAT IT’S 10% WHAT HAPPENS TO ME AND 90% HOW I REACT TO IT. AND SO IT IS WITH YOU… “YOU” ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR ATTITUDES.
I’ve Two Choices
Jerry was the kind of guy you 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
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
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. 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,” Jerry 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 will affect your mood. You choose to be in
a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live
I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant
industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but 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 a restaurant business, he left the back door open one morning and
was held up at gun point 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 said, “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 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 emergency room 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 Jerry.
“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 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.
Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching.