A Holiday Message for PALS

YOUR PERSONAL “RESET BUTTON” by Steven Shackel, diagnosed ALS 1995

When a computer becomes overloaded with information or there is a software conflict and it “freezes”, the solution is often to simply restart the computer. Some machinery has a “reset” button that does much the same.

Sometimes you cannot help but be stressed by illness, financial difficulties, pain or simply frustration at your temporary inability to resolve life’s various problems. When it becomes too much to deal with, create a mental “reset button” for yourself. This may not make the problems go away immediately but it will allow you to return to an emotionally stable and positive base from which to view your life.

Rich or poor, sick or well, the best one can expect from life is to be fundamentally happy. This is a matter of choice rather than circumstance!

Rather than looking at what you cannot do, look at what you can do. Concentrate on what you have and not what you lack. By taking this approach to everything in life you can hit your mental Reset Button to become “fundamentally happy” again.

PALS have one of the most frustrating and potentially disempowering illnesses. There is no “off switch” to make ALS go away yet but we can all create our own Reset Button that will restart us in a happy state of mind, regardless of discomfort, frustration and any other unpleasant side effects of ALS.

On one level, being fundamentally happy is as good as it gets. Decisions made in this state of mind are likely to be clearer, more stable and certainly more coherent than those made whilst depressed, frustrated or just plain ill.

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How to be happy, with a diagnosis of ALS or not — 2 videos & story at bottom

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Being ill has nothing whatsoever to do with being happy. Many wealthy, successful and perfectly healthy people are deeply unhappy.

Rather than, “I’ve had enough, I give in, I don’t care”, it’s possible to take a broader view and think, “If everything starts from here and now, what would I change, how would I change myself and how will I deal with those things I cannot change at the moment?” then act on your conclusions. There is always something you can change, however small. Never underrate the “small” things. We all have to start somewhere and “small” change may be all it takes.

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How to be happy, with a diagnosis of ALS or not — 2 videos & story at bottom

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If being happy is the best it gets then that is the perfect place from which to view your life and make the necessary changes and decisions. Your mental Reset Button is immensely helpful. Used it several times a day in difficult times. Use a reset button in your life. Try it and see. It’s my Christmas gift to you.

— Steve Shackel

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law but the operation of a higher law.

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How to be happy, with a diagnosis of ALS or not — 2 videos & story at bottom

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People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight;
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.

–Mother Teresa

VIdeo 1 (4 min) – A different perspective on limitations.

Are we making the best of this moment? Do we appreciate our life up until now?

Video 2 (12 min) – 5 proven ways to increase your happiness & positivity today.

Story – Happiness is a choice – Every day 

DANCE LIKE NOBODY’S WATCHING

 

Jeff was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a  good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

 

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant as he changed jobs. The reason the waiters followed Jeff was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator.  If an employee was having a bad day, Jeff was there  telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

 

One day I asked Jeff, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

 

Jeff replied, “Each day I say to myself, Jeff, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood.  Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

 

“Yeah, but it’s not that easy,” I protested.

 

“Yes, it is,” Jeff said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

 

I often thought about Jeff when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he had been shot in a robbery.  After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

 

I saw him about six months after the accident and when I asked him how he was, he said, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

 

I asked him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

 

“As I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die.  I chose to live.

When I got to the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses. I got really scared. In their eyes I read, “He’s a dead man”  so I knew I needed to take action.”

 

“What did you do?” I asked.

 

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jeff. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. “Yes,’ I replied. Bullets!’

Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.” Jeff lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.

 

I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

You always have choices

Work like you don’t need the money

Love like you’ve never been hurt

Dance like nobody’s watching

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