Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Decide, because you can

A couple days ago my daughter was asking why there is war and why people do bad things.  She said “Why can’t people just decide to be happy?”

Then I saw the riots in London and I wondered, why can’t people just decide to be happy and to do good things?

I know there is injustice in the world and that some are saying the current economic situation may have spurred on this riot in London.  I know some people are having a hard time, but I think sometimes people are just looking for an excuse.  We saw the riots after the Stanley Cup playoff game in Vancouver and I can’t think of a more ridiculous reason to riot.  The truth is that people will come up with an excuse to do whatever they DECIDE they want to do.  I just wish they’d look for an excuse to be happy, to be productive and to have a positive influence in the world.  I’ve seen people who had every right to be miserable, upset or angry and yet they retain a positive focus.  I’ve also seen people who allow their tragedies or difficulties define them and destroy their lives.

W. Mitchell was in a motorcycle accident and had 65% of his body burned and lost most of his fingers.  He was in severe pain but decided to make the best of it, went on with his life and started a very successful business.  He then had a plane crash where he apparently missed the ice on the plane’s wings during pre-flight check and ended up paralysed.  His wife left him and many of us would have given up and become miserable.   He decided to do better and went on to be very successful as an author and speaker and lives a happy life.  

Then we have Nick Vujicic, who was born without legs or arms and growing up spent some time very depressed and suicidal, but now has turned his life around and become an inspiration to many.  Look up his video and you’re sure to be touched by his words. Here is a person who has every right to feel helpless or angry and yet he hasn’t let his disability slow him down.   http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

Randy Pausch, in the face of death, gave his “Last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon University and inspired so many with his words of wisdom.  The university had a tradition when a professor was leaving or retiring that they would give a last lecture.  The idea was if you had one last lecture to give before you die what would it be?  Well Randy found out he had 3 to 6 months left to live and gave his last lecture.  Ever wonder what you’ll be thinking about when your time comes?  Listen to this man and you’ll have an idea and perhaps use this foresight to do more with your life today.  Even after this video went viral, and he had precious time left, he did interviews and spoke on behalf of pancreatic cancer patients in Washington DC.  Most importantly, he did not spend his last months in self pity but rather took the time to do what he could for his family and luckily for the rest of us, we all benefited from those few short months.

Here are just three people who could have been selfish and angry but who DECIDED that they could do more and be more.  They DECIDED to make something of their lives and take actions that were positive.   The rioters in London or Vancouver DECIDED to “do bad things”.  No matter their situation, they DECIDED to take the actions they did.  Every decision you make is a decision you must live with.  When you are taking action, think about it and DECIDE if it is the right thing to do.  DECIDE to do more and be more.  DECIDE to live a happier life, because you can. 

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