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When I was a child of seven or eight, my mother gave me a bit of advice that has stayed with me and changed my life in radical ways. I was getting ready to go to my parent's friend's house, I had been there before. There were two little girls there and being a little boy, I didn't feel like I had much in common and I was dreading the day. I was crying and complaining about the injustice of it all, voicing my opinion with the most persuasive emotional outbursts a seven year old can conjure, coupled with body gyrations to illustrate how dreadful this day was going to be. I wanted my mom to know that if she made me suffer this punishment of spending the day with two little girls I was not going to go quietly and I could keep this up all day! My mother knelt down and spoke to me face to face and she said these words: "You are coming with us, you don't have a choice. You can have a miserable day today or decide that you're going to enjoy yourself and have fun today. That choice is yours."

I was NOT PLEASED with this response to my best fit throwing. I sulked in the car. I pouted in the corner when we arrived.

I watched the two girls get their coats on and go out in the yard to play. It was autumn and they were playing in the fallen leaves in the yard. After a little time I thought about my mother's words. I decided to get my coat and go out in the yard.

I made friends with Connie and Debbie Redfeather that day. I enjoyed myself immensely.

In years to come I remembered those words and used them to my advantage. In work situations they were invaluable. When my job seemed intolerable I decided to throw myself into the work, think ahead, see problems before they arose, do more than I was being paid for. I got promoted. Again and again. Rising to challenges brought me........more challenges.

Pushing to learn new ways to approach my work made me grow. Opening myself to new ideas brought new people into my life, gave me an appreciation for different ways of thinking, different ways of doing things.

I learned in time that this idea, this attitude is really why we're here. My mother was a wise, beautiful, loving woman who gave me a great gift that day. We don't get to choose all of our circumstances but we do get to choose our attitude. Try this, it will change your life.


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