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Part I: The Big Connection Between Stres... > A Story to Stimulate Your Success

Chapter 9. A Story to Stimulate Your Success

Charles Fletcher Lummis, author and crusader for Indian rights, once said, “I am bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things—sorrow, misfortune, and suffering—are outside my door. I am in the house and I have the key.” The key Lummis is talking about is choice—the ability to choose our own self-talk.

Larry’s Story

The amazing power that lies in our ability to choose is vividly demonstrated in the story of Larry, who underwent a life experience more shattering and painful than anything most people will ever have to endure. He survived that experience because, as Lummis put it, he chose to view misfortune and suffering as “outside his door.”

Larry, a top-producing financial consultant, sat at a luncheon table after a seminar. The people at his table, whom he had just met, were painfully polite, going to near-ridiculous extremes to pretend they did not notice the scars on Larry’s face and hands. Larry was familiar with other people’s uneasiness, and he was a master in telling his story and encouraging people to feel relaxed.

“In case you’re wondering about these scars,” he said, “I don’t mind talking about it. A few years ago, I survived a fiery plane crash.”

“It must have been awful,” someone ventured.

“Awful? Yes,” Larry replied. “But when I got out of the plane, the first thing I thought was, ‘I’m still alive!’ They took me to the hospital, where I underwent the first surgery to reconstruct my face and arms. Altogether I went through 74 operations—nine on my hands alone. What got me through it all was a choice I made. I decided to say to myself, ‘This is just a temporary inconvenience.’ Talking about that entire experience as a ‘temporary inconvenience’ made it bearable. Anything that has happened to me since then is microscopic in comparison.”



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