Jim e-mailed this to me:
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 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 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 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. Everytime 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 how people will affecct 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 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 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, skipped 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 I 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 conciousness?" 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 thier 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." said Jerry. "She asked me 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.
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There was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Lord appeared. The Lord told the man He had a job for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day.
For a long time he toiled form sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the massive surface of the unmoving rock pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, wondering if his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture, and placed thoughts into the man's mind like,"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it." thereby giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. "I'll put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort, and that will be good enough."
But before he put that plan into action he decided to make it a matter of Prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. "Lord," He said,"I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength into that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
To this the Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to excersize your faith and trust in My Wisdom."
"This, faithful servant, you have done," said the Lord. "I will now move the rock."
Copyright © 1997-2001 WebsByLois Last updated on Wednesday, July 04, 2001