Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was the type of person who was always in a good mood, always up, 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!"I met Jerry when I was a young manager in the restaurant industry. He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry 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 Jerry and asked him, "I don' t get it! You can' t be a positive, up person all the time. How do you do it?"Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry 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. Life is all about choices."I thought about what Jerry said. Soon, I left the restaurant business to pursue my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to life.Several years later, I heard that Jerry had done something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he had left the back door open one morning and three armed robbers walked in, and held him up at gunpoint. While trying to open the safe, he got nervous and his hand slipped off the combination. The robbers got nervous and blew a hole through his hand and then three right through the middle of his abdomen. He lay there on the floor dying as the paramedics were called. They rushed him to the local trauma center and he was in surgery for 18 hours and intensive cares for weeks, and finally emerged from the hospital a month later with fragments of the bullets still in his body.I saw Jerry about six months later. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I' d be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind when the robbery was happening."The first thing that went through my mind," Jerry replied, "was that I should have locked the back door. Then, as I was lying on the floor, I was thinking that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I was choosing to live.""Weren' t you ever scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.Jerry continued the story, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room, I got really scared when I saw the expressions on the doctors, and nurses' ?faces. They all looked like I was a dead man. I knew I needed to take action.""What did you do?" I asked."Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting at me, 'Jerry, are you allergic to anything?' ?'Yes,' I shouted back. 'What?' ?she asked. The doctors and nurses stopped and waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' They all started laughing, and I told them, 'Look, I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am a living man, not a dead man'."Jerry lived in part because of his doctors, but in large part because of his indomitable attitude.