“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious.”
I had breakfast with an old friend yesterday who I had not seen for some time. We reminisced about this and that - old friends, shared experiences and global events. As we brought each other up to date we discovered we were like most folks our age, we have had some health issues, a few setbacks and even some trying times. What we soon discovered was that neither of us had stored too many memories of the bad times in our lives but rather our memories overflowed with recollections of good times and highlights of the active lives we both had led. I started to wonder if the vivid memories of so many good times were because I chose to enjoy so much of what took place in my life as it happened or if it is just that fond memories are worth keeping while the others are not. I know in my case I find that experiences I have had result in my ability to face almost any challenge with positive expectations.
After reading the following story I realized that all of us can enjoy more of life if we just approach our challenges with a positive attitude.
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 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 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 life.”
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 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’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.
By Francie Baltazar-Schwartz
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
An elderly widow and widower were dating for about five years. The man finally decided to ask her to marry. She immediately said "yes".
The next morning when he awoke, he couldn't remember what her answer was! "Was she happy? I think so, wait, no, she looked at me funny..." After about an hour of trying to remember to no avail, he got on the telephone and gave her a call. Embarrassed, he admitted that he didn’t remember her answer to the marriage proposal.
"Oh", she said, "I'm so glad you called. I remembered saying ‘yes’ to someone, but I couldn't remember who it was."
"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem."
One of the best marksmen in the FBI was passing through a small town. Everywhere he saw evidences of the most amazing shooting. On trees, on walls, and on fences there were numerous bull's-eyes with the bullet hole in dead center. The FBI man asked one of the townsmen if he could meet the person responsible for this wonderful marksmanship. The man turned out to be the village idiot.
"This is the best marksmanship I have ever seen," said the FBI man. "How in the world do you do it?"
"Nothing to it," said the guy. "I shoot first and draw the circles afterward."
Why is it that cargo is transported by ship while a shipment is transported by car?
He said :
A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE warned me that, as my three daughters became old enough to date, I'd disapprove of every young man who took them out. When the time came, I was pleased that my friend's prediction was wrong. Each boy was pleasant and well-mannered. Talking to my daughter Joanna one day, I said that I liked all the young men she and her sisters brought home.
"You know, Dad," she replied, "we don't show you everybody."
"Reputation is character minus what you've been caught doing."
A group of Rabbis were having lunch in "Isaacs White House" kosher restaurant. Unfortunately, Isaac served them watermelon spiked with cherry vodka that he had prepared for another table and he realised his mistake too late to do anything about it. All Isaac could do was wait in his kitchen and expect the worst. As soon as the waiter came back into the kitchen with the empty plates, Isaac grabbed hold of him and asked, "What did they say, please tell me, what did they say?"
"Nothing at all, Mr Isaac," replied the waiter. "They were all too busy cleaning up the watermelon seeds and putting them into their pockets."
Happiness is not by chance; but by choice.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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