In the days leading up to Remembrance Day I always give many thanks, and ensure that I practice gratitude and appreciation.

I have a good friend of mine who was badly injured in Afghanistan in 2010, and nearly lost his life.

His recovery took a long time, as he battled a barrage of injuries, and complications.  His perspective of his situation is something that I will always think of when this time of year comes.

I remember his tenacity, and determination to get back into the military, despite losing most of his left arm, and almost being killed.

He was, and continues to be a big inspiration to me.

His mindset of getting to do the things he loved to do was the real shining light.  He never once took for granted the skills he learned, and the work he put into becoming a darn good soldier.  Never did he feel like he had to do anything.  He was privileged enough to still be alive, and to have a chance to work in a job he loved again.

There are two ways that people often think.

1)  The negative outlook

– This thing happened to me, and it’s a huge barrier.
– I have to go to practice.
– My car got a flat, and I had to call a friend to help out.
– My injury has prevented me from doing things.
– I don’t have time for ________.

2) The positive outlook

– This thing happened to me, and I’m going to learn from it.
– I GET to go to practice.
– My car got a flat, and I’m so lucky to have people who love me that would come and help out.
– My injury has motivated me to work harder to get back to feeling good again.
– My time is valuable.

There are plenty of examples that I’m sure we can all think of where the negative Nancy attitude comes out.  We all have moments where we feel a bit sorry for ourselves and our situation.

The key is to turn away the sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, and discomfort.  Having a positive outlook can make bad situations into learning moments, and turn injuries into opportunities.

My buddy did get back into the Army, and he became the only one-handed member (Sergeant) in the IED division in the entire country.  Not only did he get back into the Army in his past capacity, but has moved on to working with CANSOFCOM (Canadian Special Operations Force Command)  I am beyond proud of the steps he took to overcome the massive obstacles that could have buried him.

If you really want something, value it, appreciate it.  Don’t take it for granted.  Most importantly though, shift your mindset from “I have to” to “I get to”.  This subtle self-talk could make all the difference in the world to your success, and outcomes.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to thank a veteran and by a poppy.