Jerry is the manager of a restaurant.
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
always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when
he changed jobs so they could follow him around from
restaurant to restaurant.
The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his
He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad
day, Jerry was always 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! No one can be a
positive person all of the time.
How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have
two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can
choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good
"Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or
I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from
"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 always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always 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 a bad
mood. It's your choice how you live your life."
Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did
something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant
business. He left the back door of his restaurant open one
morning and was robbed by three armed men.
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 quickly and rushed to the hospital.
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.
Want to 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, after they
shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two
choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to
"Weren't you scared?" 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
"In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to
"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big 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,
"Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live.
Please 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 you
have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it.
The only thing that is truly yours that no one can control or
take from you - is your attitude, so if you can take care of
that, everything else in life becomes much easier.