Attitude Trumps Circumstance


As I write this blog post, it has been almost ten years since the human race lost an incredible hero named Christopher Reeves.  Reeves had reached superstar status in Hollywood.  He was good looking, vibrant, had a great family, an incredible career, and was blessed with talent.  He was Superman.  In fact, Superman was a fairly accurate way to describe Christopher Reeves until an accident happened when he was thrown from a horse.

This accident left him completely paralyzed.  The only parts of his body that he could voluntarily control were his eyes, his mouth and his mind.  Can you begin to imagine the mental state of mind that someone goes into when they transition from superman to a quadriplegic without a moment’s notice?  Can you imagine being told by doctors that your spine has been severed and there is no hope of ever being more than a dormant body imprisoned by permanent paralysis?  Do you ever wonder how you would respond to these circumstances?

If you have ever had the honor of watching an interview with this remarkable man subsequent to the accident, you would be less than human if you were not brought to tears as the result of the inspiring attitude with how he responded to these circumstances. Not only did he have a positive attitude, he had an optimistic attitude.  He was talking about having more children, making more movies, and raising money to research spinal cord injuries.  This remarkable human being taught us an incredible lesson regarding the power of attitude in the five years that he survived after his accident.  The lesson is that attitude is such a powerful force that it can totally trump the circumstances of life.  

There is little doubt in my mind that there was a moment when this incredible human being had a conversation with himself that centered on the attitude that he was going to bring to life despite his accident.  That conversation had to address the fact that besides his loving family and supportive friends, his greatest asset that he had left was his attitude.  I know in my heart that he either knew at the moment or came to the conclusion through reason that his attitude could literally define the quality of the rest of his life. He made a remarkable choice; he chose a phenomenal attitude as the brand of his life.

If you look closely in life you will see people, perhaps not as high profile as Christopher Reeves, whose attitude quite simply trumps their circumstances in life.  People, regardless of their circumstances, show up to life everyday with a choice when it comes to their attitude.

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