The best day of my life!

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Recently a friend went to a beautiful vacation resort. Towering mountains, breathtaking scenery, and numerous trails for horseback riding and hiking. He felt all set for a very special vacation, and as he went to bed his first night there he felt excited.

Only to wake up the next morning to a driving rainstorm, that was certain to not go away for quite a while!

"Oh well," Andy thought, "Might as well sleep a bit longer."

He went down to breakfast at 10 AM and sat by a window as he watched the rain falling endlessly. Just as he was finishing his meal he saw a man in the distance, slowly making his way towards the lodge. The man was walking very slowly as he supported himself with two arm brace crutches.

Andy sat transfixed watching the man take one careful step after another, slowly making his way over the slippery terrain.

After about ten minutes time the man finally made his way to the lodge, and Andy jumped up to open the door and help him in.

"Good morning," Andy said, "How are you doing?"

"Best day of my life!" the man said with great enthusiasm, "How are you doing?"

Andy felt himself at a loss for words. "Could be better," he said in a hesitating voice, "But I'm doing OK."

What's the matter, don't you like the rain?" the man asked.

"The rain?" Andy said, "I was counting on going horseback riding today, so I must say that the rain does not please me."

"I was counting on going horseback riding myself," the man said, "But walking in the rain is just as good if not better!"

Andy stood there and watched as the man slowly made his way through the lounge area.

"Wow," he thought, "This guy must know something I don't!"

Later in the day, as the rain continued to fall, Andy saw the man sitting in the lobby and asked if he could have a seat nearby.

"Sure," the man said, "Happy to sit with you and have a chat."

And slowly the man's story unfolded.

Years ago he had been a champion equestrian, until one day he got thrown from a horse and was badly injured. He was unconscious for more than a week, and then he slipped in and out of consciousness for another week. Each time he became aware of himself lying in bed he was not sure if he was indeed still alive, or whether he was having the dream of a dead man. Whenever he came to, he would lie there and listen for the voices of the staff and doctors who always came by the moment they realized he had regained
consciousness.

"Every time I woke up and heard the staff," he said, "I was so happy to know I was still alive! Every time I woke up I understood that to be alive at all is truly a miracle!"

"And I have kept that sense of miracle with me through the last fifty seven years. Every morning when I first start to stir, and realize I am still alive, I am truly thankful. I realize that today could be the last day of my life, and it can also be the best day of my life, if I make it so."

"You are still young," the man said to my sixty year old friend Andy, "Don't let the hardships and challenges of life drain away your sense of enthusiasm and wonder. Even the happiest of lives has many struggles along the way. Every morning that you DO wake up, rejoice in the fact that you are still alive, and be sure to assure yourself, Today is the best day of my life!"

The story of this courageous man leads me back to an important understanding I have had in the past:

What happens to me during the course of my life - the trials and tribulations, the winning and the losing, is not what is most important. What is most important is how I react to what happens. Do I take my disabilities and convert them into a reason to be thankful, an occasion to celebrate my life, like the man in the story? Or do I use my hardships as a reason for feeling cheated, frustrated, or depressed? The choice is always mine to make, regardless of whether or not I am "happy" about what has occurred.

How about you? Do you have a disability or two that would serve you well to be thankful for? If so, why wait any longer? Today can be the best day of your life!

About the Author:

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from Charlie's thought-provoking ideas and various self-help Practices, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter "Pure Heart, Simple Mind" at http://www.seishindo.org/anger/index.html

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