Wednesday, September 24, 2008


How very interesting. I was just sitting here, reading my favorite blogs in Google Reader when I came across JamyHawk sharing a video about taking chances. This video was really cool. It shows a series of people that had been put down, told to give up or had failed on their own but picked themselves up and took another chance.

On my other blogs today, I've been posting a story shared my team lead here at work yesterday in our weekly team meeting. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it on this blog. Poker blog readers, I thought, might not be interested, but what the hell, here it goes. The source of this is unknown. My team lead is also the coach of a local girls swim team. He reads this to them every year.

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has 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!"

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael 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 Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 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.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.  You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. 

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. 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 as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything.’Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
What do you to choose to do with your life today? Do you choose success? Last night I chose to accept the fact that a donkey hit lightning in a bottle for a huge pot. I shrugged it off. An hour later, I desimated his stack by simply convincing him that his play was right and should call. Presto is gold. 

Sometimes donkeys are the chipleaders. Sometimes I remember they are just keeping my chips warm for me.


Memphis MOJO said...

Good stuff, thanks for posting.

jamyhawk said...

Thanks for the pimpage...

I gotta laugh my ass off at the "warm chips" comment...

Great post!

lightning36 said...

Great post, OhCaptain. I am a counselor at a community college. The message we stress in orientation and throughout a student's career is that success is all about making good choices.

It's always good to be reminded of this.

Memphis MOJO said...

Off topic, but enjoy the Twins' game Sunday. I'm sure you'll be excited and I know your daughter will!!

Memphis MOJO said...

Both teams won, so now you have to sweat a game between Detroit and Chicago. GL twins!

lightning36 said...

OhCaptain, take my advice for Tuesday's Twins vs Sox game: Bet On Black!!

DrewFours said...

Yo Capt...

I've been seemingly absentee of late, trying to get the house sale figured out. Found this entry just hours after finding out the deal that's been 30+ days in the making fell through, and us with a lease signed already.

I've seen it before, but the timing of this refresher was awesome!