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An Amazing Positive Attitude
"If I Were Any Better
I'd Be Twins."

Life is hard.

I’ve frequently used this oracle of wisdom on our kids and grandkids as they were growing up and it seems that the older I get the truer it becomes.

A friend shared the following story with me about a man named Michael. “Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and when someone would ask him how he was doing, He would reply, ‘If I were any better, I would be twins!’

One day I asked Michael, How do you do it? Michael replied, ‘Life is about choices. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.’

Sometime later, I heard that Michael had fallen 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the misfortune and asked him how he was doing. He replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined the offer but asked him what was going on in his mind after the fall.

‘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. The paramedics 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. There was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me. "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."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.” How we react to the challenges and obstacles of life can dramatically affect the outcome, influence our health and the quality and length of our lives.

A new branch of medicine – psychoneuroimmunology - studies the relationship between mental attitude and health. Physicians have found that a positive attitude can result in faster recovery from surgery and burns, more resistance to arthritis and cancer and improved immune function.

Yale University researchers conducted a 23-year-long study which showed that those who had a positive attitude towards aging lived roughly seven and a half years longer than participants who were dreading reaching their twilight years.

Al Siebert, PHD in his inspirational and informative book, “The Survivor Personality” gives us some great insights into why some people are stronger and more skillful at handling life’s difficulties. Interestingly Dr. Siebert says that survivor qualities can be learned, but they can't be taught.

Are life's best survivors different from other people? No. They survive, cope, and thrive better because they are better at using the inborn abilities that God has created in us.

Will it be easy to think positive and look for the good when things are going bad? Not for most of us. This is a lesson that I have to "relearn" from time to time.

When the going gets tough there is comfort in these words from Ephesians 3:20 (Living Bible):

"Now glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of...infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes." 

Gene

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