Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / October 14, 1998

My good friend, Bill Hubbard of Hubbard Enterprises Inc., mailed me thefollowing. I think it’s great for all of us, especially for people who mightneed an attitude transplant.

I Have Two Choices Every Day Jerry is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood andalways has something positive to say. When someone would ask him howhe was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I’d be twins.” He was aunique restaurant manager because he had waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.

The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He wasa natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was theretelling 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 the time. Howdo 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 chooseto be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time somethingbad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. Ichoose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, Ican 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 allthe junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react tosituations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to bein a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you livelife.”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 onemorning 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 wasfound relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18hours 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 hewas, he replied, “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 mymind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, asI lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices. I could choose tolive 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 wasgoing to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw theexpressions 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 andnurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathand 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 to give 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.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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