Life is a decision

I met with a very good friend yesterday.

I have visited him quite a few times over the past several weeks as he has endured radiation therapy for a very rare form of cancer. 

We were in business together several years ago and his exuberant attitude used to lift people up around him, even in the most challenging times in our business. 

At the time it reminded me why we raised our family with the understanding that being happy was a decision and not a feeling.

Feelings aside, we can, daily, make a decision to be happy.

I would say if you make that decision every day, the “feeling” which is haunting you may itself disappear.

Notwithstanding, some people need medical support for conditions that require attention to help them live a normal life.

In some sense, my friend was in that same position. He was doing his best to stay positive every day as he undertook a gruelling regime of radiation therapy.

On top of the therapy, I witnessed his weight drop from a healthy 200 pounds to about 135. 

His goal was to live long enough to get to an operation, but along the way he developed a condition that prevented him from eating.

If he could not keep food down he would be denied surgery because of the low chance of success. 

I stopped off to see him yesterday en route to a car rally in the Columbia Valley. He was back.

He was his jolly, uplifting, funloving self again: Planning a future, scheming some big business ideas and generally looking forward with confidence.

Not the same guy I had witnessed who was slowly losing the fight. 

He shared with me that one morning he found it hard to wake up. He was almost in a coma. He looked at two choices.

He could not fight, give in, and say goodbye to his family. The other (the friend that I knew) was to get up one more time and make a decision to live. 

Interestingly, that was about the same time he met a gastrointestinal expert that prescribed him a series of pills that completely changed his condition.

Over the next four days, he ate like a horse and showed up for his operation — that was a week ago — the friend I knew was back, except his hitch-hiker is no longer with him.

Every day, we have multiple decision points. Human nature skews us to the path of least resistance, the easy way out.

Thank goodness, my friend took the hard route. 

We are going fishing in a few weeks — after we have eaten a big meal together.

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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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