Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Choosing to Live Fully

--by Modestobob, posted May 31, 2009

John 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!'  He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John 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 and asked him, "I don't get it!  You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 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," he 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 affect your mood.  You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."
I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower 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 he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.  I saw him 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 accident took place.  "The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, 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.  He 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 John. "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, "Gravity."  Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."
He 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.
My dear friends, events in our lives will change us and humble us. If it weren’t so then why these life experiences in the first place? May we look at these challenges with anticipation and courage that we may rise to the occasion with confidence that this was the plan from the beginning…to grow, to overcome and to live! Have a wonderful day today, and know that someone in Modesto, California is thinking about YOU today and smiling.
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Readers Comments

hularose wrote: Love this story - this is just how i try to live my life. I look for the best in people and every day i wake up positive to live my life and my opportunities to the full, and enjoy everything that life offers. Life be in it! Kindness is catching and addictive!
hotcocoa wrote: Wow, great men.

He and you.

Thigns happen for a reason.

Thanks for posting it.

I'm sure i'm looking towards a more positive future now and one :d
God bless y'all.

Thanks for the story!
shannon wrote: What a wonderful story. I wish i could develop a attitude like this. My only son of 22yrs. Old committed suicide 5-30-07 and to this day i am still grieving over him and it's so hard for me to deal with. Do you have any suggestions?
ninu wrote: Thank you so much.
cyzelle wrote: What a wonderful story, hope everybody is like him. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story
bubblegumteen wrote: I keep on coming back to this story. I've read it 4 times already. Its just so inspiring!
KESHAVARAO wrote: It is a wonderful story of possitive thinking of life. Really it is an inspirng story
clover wrote: You here life knocking? . Open the windows and let it in! Life will smile at you
Peggy Gorman wrote: I know how he feelsand i tell people its easy to be in a bad mood but just smile and you will feel better
Metti SCC wrote: What an inspiring story it is. I started to live my life to the full by making choice each time to live.

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