By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC
An interesting story: Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in good mood. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, “If I were better, I would be twins.”
Many of the waiters at his restaurant used to quit their jobs whenever Jerry changed jobs, so that they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. Why? Because Jerry 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 situations.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I do not get it! No one can be a positive person all 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 chose the first one. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always learn from it. Each time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaints or I can point out the positive side of life. I always chose the positive side of life.”
“But it is not always easy,” I protested.
Yes, it is, said Jerry.
Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You only choose how to react to situation. You decide whether you want to be in a good mood or bad. It is your choice how you live your life.
Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something that you are never expected to do in a restaurant business. He was robbed by three armed men. They forced Jerry to open the safe. While opening, his hand slipped and the robbers thinking that he was upto something shot him. Luckily he was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and fragments of bullets still in his body he was discharged.
I asked him, “What was going on in your mind when you were shot?”
First thing in my mind was, “Why did I not close the back door? The robbers could not have come in the first place. And after I was shot, I realised that I had two choices, either I live or I die. I chose the latter. Even when I was wheeled in to the operation room, I saw the expressions on the face of the nurses and doctors. In their faces I read, ‘He is a dead man’.” I had to act fast.
What did you do? I asked.
A big nurse asked me, “Are you allergic to anything?”
Taking a deep breath I shouted, “Yes, bullets! Over their laughter, I told them, please operate on me as if I am alive and not as if I am dead.”
Jerry lived on, thanks to the skill of his doctors but also because of his amazing self belief and attitude.
Something similar happened to me too. Just before my renal transplant, I was given a book by Lance Armstrong, an international cyclist. In his book, Lance explains in detail how he fought his cancer with sheer determination and will-power, in spite of his doctor giving him 3 percent chance of survival. I decided to take my problem head-on positively rather than cry and cringe. The result: I am fit and fine even after 12 years post-transplant.
After my renal transplant, I was diagnosed with a prostrate problem. The doctor advised me that I should get my prostrate removed. The doctor was however little worried since I had just come out of a major operation. I decided to face the problem head-on and asked him to fix the operation next day itself. It was not a major procedure and the doctor, a big fan of our matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar, started humming a song quite loudly, during the procedure. I too joined him and all the nurses and others started laughing aloud at the scene of a patient and doctor singing. Surprisingly, the procedure got over within no time without any complications and I was out of the hospital in no time. Positive mindset generates good amount of anti-bodies and one gets cured much faster. I am a living example.
To sum up. Everybody has a choice — to be good or bad, to live or to die, to be positive or negative. It is up to you.