My patients ask me on a regular basis: “What’s my prognosis Doc? How long is this going to take? Will I recover fully? What is the most important factor in determining my outcome?”
I invariably reply, “It all depends on you and your attitude.”
This is usually received by a quizzical look and a somewhat furrowed brow.
“What do you mean?” they say.
And this is it; the most important factor in your success or failure with a challenge, be it emotional, physical, relationship etc. is your perspective, and yes, your attitude.
I have had eight years on the ‘front line’ working emergency, trauma and various intensive care units working with some of the most challenging and involved patients in this province.
The one aspect that determines your outcome is attitude.
I have seen it many times where a patient is in multisystemic failure, the direst of circumstances, pull through and make full recovery because of one simple constant—their desire to live and their need to live for something or someone.
They lived in gratitude.
I lost my mother 14 years ago. She died of a long-lived debilitating disease.
She was the longest living patient with her condition in provincial history.
She lived so long because she lived in one emotion—gratitude.
She was grateful for all things big and small.
She was grateful for her husband, her children and every day she was given.
Studies have demonstrated that there is one emotion that empowers us and changes us at a cellular level. That emotion is gratitude.
To live in gratitude allows us to see the good in everything.
This can do nothing else but boost our energy, our immune system and carry us through even the hardest of times.
Conversely the most damaging feeling is not that of hatred, anger or even depression, it is that of harbouring a sense of resentment.
With resentment all the other negative feelings follow—apathy, being a victim, bitterness and anger.
Resentment is the embodiment of all negative feelings and will invariably lead one to the path of disease.
Here is an interesting twist; some scientists believe that the heart has another function above and beyond being a simple pump.
These scientists say that the heart is indeed a sensory organ, capable of sensing emotion and intent in others.
Have you ever had a bad feeling about someone? Trust your heart.
Have you ever been with someone who picked you up regardless of the words spoken or actions observed? Trust your heart.
If you ask me, I believe the heart is an organ that can unmistakably sense.
Remember this. The best thing you can do to change your life for the better today is to live your life in gratitude.
There is an exercise I do every morning before my feet hit the rug in the morning and I humbly ask you to try it tomorrow morning.
I pick five things that I am grateful for at random. It can be my health, my relationships, my children, my career or anything else.
And for each one of whatever items that might be, I pick three things I am thankful for each.
Do this and I guarantee you that your day will be 200 pe cent better.
Living without gratitude can harm you gravely and lead you to wrongful decisions.
Gratitude is the key. It is the filter in which we choose to see all things.
Without it we are at the mercy of the whimsical folly of others. It empowers us and propels us forward. Be grateful for your eyesight, your sense of smell, your loved ones and your lives.
My mom did it and so can you. None of us make it out of this alive.
Truthfully, our sense of our lives is simply one of our perceptions. Life is how we see it. That’s our reality.