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Attitude is Everything



Photo by pickupjojo found on this link : http://pickupjojo.deviantart.com/art/Zen-Attitude-60507569


When Angie woke up this morning, she didn’t feel like doing anything. She didn’t want to leave her bed, or take a shower, or have a cup of coffee, or even walk to the office, needless to say that she didn’t even want to drag herself to the gym for an early workout. She didn’t feel like spending another day in her tiny little office which has no windows and no doors. I wonder if you know what I am talking about. Have you ever had similar mornings, when you feel overwhelmed and unable to continue with your life? Have you ever felt like taking a break from life?  Unfortunately taking a break from life is not possible, because when we do such thing we cease to exist. We can only take a break from work and from other responsibilities…

Angie managed to drag herself to work and she reached her desk at 8:15 AM (only 15 minutes late). She started checking her e-mails and found the following text from a dear friend (whom she didn’t hear from, for a long time) :

“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 would be twins!”

After reading this small paragraph, Angie stopped, took a deep breath and thought to herself, “I wish I could be like Jerry. I wonder what he does to always have something positive to say. Are we born with positive thoughts ? Or being positive is something we acquire with time?” She took another deep breath and she continued reading.

“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.”

Angie stopped again after this paragraph and said to herself, “Gosh I wish I could be a unique manager, a person who is followed, cherished and loved. Gosh, I wish I know what attitude is. I wish I was a natural motivator. I wish I could look at the positive side. I wonder where the positive side is when all I see is a thick dark fog…” . She stopped reading for a while answered her phone and then continued…

“Seeing his 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. 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. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaints 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 life.”

Angie said in a loud voice (speaking only to herself): “life is a choice? … everything in life is a choice ?  It can’t be!!! I can choose to be happy? I can choose to be in a bad or in a good mood? woowww… this is something.” Her mood started to change… She had an aha moment ( you know the kind of moment when you feel that you understood something ( let me write it again: UNDERSTOOD / understand something). It is one of those moments when an idea cease to be only words and it sinks in and when words move from one place called “theory” to another place called “understanding” before going to “practice”. Angie smiled and continued reading the text:

“I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant 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 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 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 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 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 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.”

Angie had tears in her eyes when she finished reading this text. She said to herself “I am lucky to have read this e-mail today. I choose to be happy today because this moment is unique and it will never come again. I choose to live.”

Have an amazing day 🙂

(Thank you Imam for sharing with me this amazing e-mail about Jerry)

(The words in italic were written by an unknown author, the rest is by Zeina Gabriel)