The early morning sun seemed to put my state of mind at ease. I could hear a plethora of birds feeding, singing and maximising all the day had to offer. It was amazing the influence simple things such as the early morning sun and the singing of the birds had in helping me reassess my situation. I couldn't help but feel that once again the universe had taken me within its palm and gently guided me to a new level of understanding and appreciation of life.
Although Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is usually not fatal, I felt that surrendering my mind and ability to decide my actions were as good as dying. I was alive and for all the disabilities MS would challenge me with, while I had the strength to breathe, think, love and choose, I would focus from this day forward on what I have instead of what I didn't have.
It was time to put my power to choose into action. I could choose to accept that I had MS and that MS didn't have me! This was a significant day for me. After spending weeks in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital unable to walk, blurred vision, unable to wash or dress myself and generally feeling sorry for myself, I found my inner being slowly beginning to fight back.
Although the future did not appear tremendous, I was now able to acknowledge that I did have choices. I could choose to give in to this crippling disease and let it take control of my life, or I could choose to focus on what I had and what I could do. It wasn't the time to say it's too hard. It was time to put all my years as a mentor, leader and competitor into action.
I asked my brother Andrew to bring me in a pen and note pad on his next visit. When he arrived the next day I asked him if he would draw a line down the centre of the page (I was unable to write at the time as my right hand was paralysed due to the relapse).
I then asked him to write the heading ' DO HAVE 'above the left column and ' DON'T HAVE 'above the right column. It was time to take an inventory on my life and maximise what I had.
'I DO HAVE'
- Loving caring family
- Loyal friends
- A resilient nature
- A wonderful country
- Medical support
- The ability to dream
'I DON"T HAVE'
- Perfect health
- Normal mobility
- A career as I knew it
This exercise clearly demonstrated that for all the troubles I was confronted with, I had far more do haves than don't haves. While we cannot always control change and the process it takes, we can take control of our ability to deal with it through the power of choice ... our attitude. The most unknown, unused and unrecognised tool of the human mind is the recognition that our attitude is always a choice.
Excerpt from: Power to Choose Challenge to Change written by Mark Horton
Mark Horton is an Australian based speaker, author and performance coach and his book can be purchased direct from Mark for approximately A$30.00 including postage. Mark is one person who exemplifies in every way, how having the right attitude will help us all to overcome the many obstacles that we face in life. His book is a great read and well worth the investment, and his conference and key note presentations are inspirational.