Recently I came down with laryngitis one hour before I was to attend a large dinner party. I felt fine, but I completely lost my voice. Instead of feeling frustrated and canceling, I decided to attend not as a vocal participant but as a receiver, an observer.
As a listener, I was able to participate differently. People around me shared more freely. They were more open and intimate. It was a wonderful experience and I developed new friendships.
When unexpected things happen, you can choose your attitude towards it. Once you choose to accept it, you can realize the possibilities and move through it.
I’m reminded of my very first television guest, Dr. Paula Headbloom, an OB/GYN who spent many years delivering babies until she developed multiple sclerosis and could no longer deliver. She moved into a secondary role, and when she could no longer do that, she moved into minor role. When asked if she wanted to erase the last 10 years with MS, she said, "I would not change a thing. Why? Because then I would not be the person I am at this moment."
Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn. Health, heartbreak, loss. Yet we all have the ability to choose our attitudes. A period of rest does not necessarily mean isolation. A health setback can be an opportunity to learn and grow; to observe what’s inside ourselves.
How do you view the setbacks of your life? I hope you’ll join me in acquiring a positive attitude. It will be life-changing.