Two choices

You have two choices

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood. When someone would ask him how he was doing he would always reply: “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs, when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant.


Because Jerry was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling him 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! Nobody 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 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 always 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 always choose the positive side of life.”

“But it’s not always that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry 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 will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It’s your choice how you live your life.”

Several years later I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business. He left the back door of his restaurant open and then in the morning he was robbed by three armed men.

While Jerry was trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of bullets still in his body…

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.” Jerry continued: “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression 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 nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything.”
‘Yes, to bullets,’ I replied. “Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it.

The only thing that is truly yours – that no one can control or take from you – is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.

Sent by logotherapy student Johannes Muller

Do you agree with Johannes, that it’s that simple? Why or why not?

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2 Responses to Two choices

  1. Esther says:

    While the theory of choice seems to be true, it is also true that some people are born with more talent for positivity, just like some people are born with more musical talent. While anyone can take music lessons, and really work hard, and practice, they won’t ever get to the level of the person who was born with special talent. And this has over the years been a source of great distress to me personally, and probably to a lot of other people too! Why do some people have to work so hard at something and for others it comes easily?

  2. logogroup says:

    Too bad I’m leaving a reply. “One response to Two choices” had a nice ring to it…Apparently everyone is given something that comes naturally and easily and other things that take work. But while I agree with you that even the things that are inborn talent take work, my sense is that you’re trying too hard to succeed. “Work” means spend a lot of time practicing, be focused on what you’re doing and learn from your mistakes how to do things differently than the way you’re doing it now. Stress and exasperation don’t have to be part of it. And don’t forget that some things are easy for you, and people are saying, why is it so easy for her? It’s not fair! Sometimes the thing that comes easy for you can help you work on the thing that comes hard.

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