I’m writing this post from a hospital bed and as I ponder my situation (which isn’t dire, so please don’t worry), I remember again that I have 2 choices.

I can choose to be a victim, feeling sorry for myself and cursing my circumstances.

I can take out my frustrations on the harried nursing staff and be a demanding diva.

I can ask “why me?” Imagining myself as unfortunate.

I can grumble about everything that I’m missing while I’m here.

Or I can choose to smile.

To shrug my shoulders.

To be pragmatic.

To be kind and generous to the staff and other patients.

To pray for those around me.

To be grateful that I am in good hands and will be going home soon.

To take advantage of the opportunity to slow down and be thankful for my Kindle’s long battery life.

Are the circumstances ideal? Of course not.

Did I choose them? Not at all.

But do I get to choose my response? Every single time!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I’ll be up and about in no time.

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A desperate rabbit runs faster to get away from the fox.

A hungry lion sprints with all of her energy to catch her prey.

A determined ant moves around, over or under any obstacles in its way.

A focused spider tries to spin its web despite the wind and rain destroying it over and over again.

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It’s going to be a long drive.

You may have come a long way, but there’s still a long stretch of highway ahead.

Some sections may be boring and you’ll wonder if you’re even making progress.

Occasionally, you will run low of fuel and need to fill up.

And often, a little voice from the back seat of your mind will ask, “Are we there yet?”

But you’re not there yet.

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According to Angela Duckworth,

“Our potential is one thing.  What we do with it is quite another.”

You have great potential.

You have wonderful skills and the capacity to develop them to a world-class level.

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No-one else is making the first move.

They’re not going to pick up the phone and call you.

Those sales aren’t going to fall into your lap.

People aren’t going to recognise your genius from a distance and make you a great offer.

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Our oldest son, Hayden, graduated from primary school today.  It was a nice, simple ceremony that marked the transition from his junior years of schooling to the next, exciting and slightly daunting step in his education.

Hopefully, it won’t be the last of his graduations.  High school, and perhaps university, await.

With each graduation there will be new challenges.

New social interactions.

New skills to develop and lessons to learn.

But does it stop there?  Should it?

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A few of my neighbours really get into the spirit of the season.

They do a great job of decorating their front yards for Christmas, with a few even trying something at Halloween.  It’s nice that they make such an effort and there are times when I walk past that I think I should do something similar to make the street more festive at Christmas.

Then I smile at myself, shake my head and remember that I really don’t have the time, the energy or the inclination to do anything like this.

Of course, that’s the key isn’t it?

To do anything in life, you need the time, the energy and the inclination. If you don’t, it just won’t get done.

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If you want to get smarter and more knowledgeable, you should be reading more.

We all know that.

Some would make the claim that they are reading more.

On Twitter, blogs, magazines.

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At this time of year, it’s tempting to just limp to the end.

To mail it in, with one eye on the calendar.

To count the days before the holidays start, without making the days count.

To look for opportunities to get distracted.

But today I want to encourage you to finish strong.

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We all have messages that we tell others.

If someone asks us how we are doing, we instinctively respond with some like, “Good, thanks.”

Or perhaps, “Awesome!”

Maybe even, “I’m having a great day, how about you?”

It doesn’t matter if they’re not completely true, they are habitual, ingrained responses that we give without careful consideration.

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