My company that I'm not allowed to name here is having its first of this year's regional conferences this weekend. Better yet, this year the closest to me is Baltimore! Last year, I had to tramp all the way up to Pittsburgh. The pro of having them so close to home is that I don't have to pay for lodging, plus I got to have Dave come down for dinner tonight before the Welcome Reception (and he stayed to hear JB, our CIO, speak). The con is that you don't get the whole conference experience when you're staying at home. Usually at a conference we'd be off in a bar somewhere chit chatting or at a minimum hanging out in someone's hotel room. But, no, I'm at home alone blogging. Dave took off to go down to play poker with the pinball people and I lifted his regular curfew as thanks for him coming down this evening.
I know I've mentioned before that I love our conferences. They make me feel so positive to be around wonderful people. Today was the leader portion, for those of us that have teams and then tonight was the start of General Session with a full day of General Session tomorrow. I have half of my team in attendance - MJ & TS! I'm so happy that they're coming. I couldn't have asked for a better team.
What struck me tonight was how much adversity JB has faced. Her older brother died in a fire in 1985, then her younger brother was convicted of attempted murder in 1995 and sent to jail for 20 years. Her husband died suddenly in 1998, then her youngest brother died when he fell off a building he was helping to construct. Good Lord!! Her motto, as a result, is if you're not getting better, you're getting bitter. Even after all of that, she still looks at the positive side of things. It makes me wonder about people who complain about their lives - have they really seen pain? When I'm feeling down because my project was canceled at Arbitron, what would I do if something happened to my parents, or my sisters, or Dave? Or all of them? Things could be so much worse than they are... why do we constantly ruin our lives by complaining and being unhappy? Just think, if she had chosen to pull into her shell and do nothing but feel sorry for herself when her brother died in 1985, she would have wasted what precious time she had left with the others that she lost. This is why I never miss a moment of hearing her speak - she is an inspiration.
As the Fish! Philosophy said, choose your attitude. I'm still shocked regularly by people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives, their own choices, their own feelings. I'm slumping in my business. My sponsor feels partly to blame because she took three months off when she had her baby. Yeah, well, I was the one that worked way too hard in October and then once I had my November parties decided to just "relax a bit." Well, that relaxation turned into three months. I could choose to say that my sponsor was to blame, or I could own up to the fact that my choices led me to where I am today. I could be upset, and say that it's not my fault, it's the business that is unfair. Or, I could choose to look positively at the challenges that are ahead, learn from what is in the past, and move on. That's what I'm doing. I booked 5 parties in two weeks. Life is looking up.
JB didn't react to her circumstances, she chose to be happy. She couldn't have someone cheer her up because no one was there. Her only family left was her 5 year old son. Still, she chose to not be a victim. Choosing gives us such power, I don't know why more people don't do it.