Choose,Happiness,Article,Title DIY Choose Happiness
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Article Title: Choose HappinessAuthor Name: Dr. Donald SchnellContact Email Address: [email protected] Count: 1,137Category: Personal Development, Motivation, Self HelpCopyright Date: 2003 ******************************************** Publishing Guidelines: Thank you for publishing this article in itsentirety including the resource box. When possible, pleasenotify me of publication by sending either a website linkor a copy of your ezine upon publication via email [email protected] Thank You!******************************************** Choose HappinessBy Donald SchnellChoose Happiness© September 2002It's a beautiful spring day in Beverly Hills, California. I'm looking out my window at elm trees in full leaf androses in full bloom, and thinking about the people whohelped me get where I am today. Mark Johnson was the kind of guy some people love to hate.He was always in a great mood and always had somethingpositive to say. When he saw you, he enthusiasticallyboomed, Hello, my friend! When you asked him how he was,he nearly shouted, I'm on top of the world! I wassometimes a little embarrassed by his noisy exuberance, butI was glad he was my friend. Mark was a unique worker at the Phelps Dodge Copper Mine inmy home town of Ajo, Arizona. The miners followed himaround. Because of his attitude, he was a naturalmotivator. If one of the guys was having a bad day, Markwas there to help him see the bright side of anysituation. Once I remember him taking one of the men to thebank with him after work. I later learned that Mark hadpersonally given over half his check to help that mancover his family's medical bills. It wasn't the first timeMark had done this. Many could testify to his generosity. And those were tough times for copper miners in the1970's-with only a decade left before the mine wouldclose, and Ajo would turn into a ghost town Mark Johnson and I worked in the Smelter-the OVEN. Hotenough to melt gold. Hot enough to melt your shoes it wasHell. Mark's positive approach to life made me curious, so oneday I asked him, "I don't get it! Everyone grumbles and complains about the hard work, the heat, and the low wages.Everyone but you. No one can be a positive person all thetime. How do you do it?" Mark had a quick answer, and a quicker smile, "Eachmorning I wake up and say to myself, 'Mark, you have twochoices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or youcan choose to be in a bad mood.' Don, I choose to be in agood mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose tobe a victim or I can choose to learn from it. Don, I chooseto learn from it. Every time someone comes to mecomplaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or Ican point out the positive side of life. Don, I choose thepositive side of life." "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Mark said. "Life is all about choices. Everysituation is a choice. You choose how you react to eachsituation. You choose how people will affect your mood. Youchoose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line:it's your choice how you live life." My job in the mines that summer was challenging. I was only19 years old after all. I was home for the summer to tryto make enough money for my sophomore year at ArizonaState. Challenging? That is a major understatement. Myassignment: to shovel from the top of the OVEN the metallicsoot that would build up on the roof. It took a shovel andan industrial strength vacuum cleaner to do the job. Lifethreatening? Yep! That OVEN had to be clean or it might collapse. We workedin crews of two-man teams. For safety, we strapped woodenplatforms beneath our shoes. As we worked we kept an eyeon our platforms, and if they started to smoke, we jumpedoff the OVEN before our shoes caught fire. The top of theOVEN was the hottest, because heat rises. I resented whenMark was transferred to the ICE HOUSE. He was going towork in the coolest place in Arizona during that infernalsummer. Why not me? He now had one of the nicest jobs youcould get in that fiery Hell called a copper mine. Why notme? Things change. The miners went on strike. Mark came to mein great distress. It was the first time I'd ever seen himupset. Don, he said, I've got to work. I'm going to haveto be a scab. I have a family to feed. My wife Becky is 8months pregnant. Tough decision. The toughest. In Ajo, an innocent child of a scab was once shot to death. Countless are the brutal stories I can recall of how scabswere severely beaten, crippled or killed for their decisionto cross the picket line. Mark had nowhere to turn. Coppermining was the only industry in that town 100 miles fromcivilization. He had no money to move, no money to travel.Sadly, I supported him in his decision. What else could Ido? The next day was ugly. Hundreds of angry miners lined up totaunt, jeer and protest the few scabs who showed up towork. Mark hung his head in shame as he drove through thepicket line in a company truck with armed escorts. Thedecision to work was fatal. But not because of the miners'hatred of scabs. Mark was assigned my job to clean thetop of the OVEN. The same I'd worked on only days before. That day, witnesses saw the OVEN collapse, and my friendMark was instantly incinerated. Mark's death had a major impact on me. It could have beenmy life that was taken by that OVEN. I was a kid, and Ihurt. Worst of all, I felt guilty for resenting his time inthe Ice House. I felt guilty for not always welcoming hispositive outlook. But, now he was gone. His family wasfatherless. Because his last work was that of a scab, hewas counted as a temporary worker, and the family lost allhis benefits. It was a tragedy I couldn't handle. The fireof that oven burned inside my gut. I had to turn my anger,my guilt, and my sadness and pain into something positive. I reflected on Mark's upbeat philosophy and decided that Icould best honor him by being like him, and focusing on thegood in my life. Mark's untimely death taught me a valuable lesson. Life isshort. There is no telling when we will be called to takethe Great Adventure. Each day of our lives is precious.Mark was 100% right. Each day is a choice. You and youalone decide what kind of day you will have. You can chooseto be happy or sad, loving or hateful. Enlightenment isall about choice. What choice are you going to make today?Remember my friend Mark this week and make the choice to behappy.