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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 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.

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