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Jeff 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 Jeff was because of his attitude.  He was a natural motivator.  If an employee  was having a bad day, Jeff 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 Jeff and asked  him, "I don't get it!  You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Jeff replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jeff, 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," Jeff 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 Jeff 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 Jeff 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, Jeff was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jeff was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jeff 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," Jeff replied.  "Then, as 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.

Jeff 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 Jeff.  "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.'"

Jeff 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.

         You have 2 choices now:
         1.  Save or delete this mail from your mail box, or
         2.  Forward it to people you care about.

         Hope you will choose No. 2.

         Work like you don't need the money
         Love like you've never been hurt
         Dance like nobody's watching

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I'm so fast, that when I turn out the light at night, I'm in bed before it's dark.
(To put this quote in context, Satchel Paige was playing in the Negro Baseball Leagues and in those times, the light switch for a hotel room was near the door - one switch for the room - you had to walk across the room to get into bed.. As Satchel told the story, the switch was defective and sparked when the lights were turned off - hence the true statement -he was so fast, he was in bed before it was dark.)

         Satchel Paige

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