How can you be happy almost all the time while at the same time enduring constant and never-ending 24/7 pain, achiness and stiffness?
I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since the age of 5. I am 54 at the time of
this writing. It affects every joint in my body from my jaw to my toes.
I have had 4 hips, 4 knees, and 2 shoulders replaced and have been in
hospital for a week or more about 40 times.
I had cataracts removed at the age of 13 due to high daily doses of the oral
Prednisone also stunted my growth and I stand 5’1”.
All of my joints are either fused totally, or have severe range of motion
restrictions. That makes many day-to-day activities much more challenging
than for the average person.
Every day, I have 3-5 joints giving me enough pain that most people would
stay home from work, and complain about it all day.
You may be wondering how I can be happy and positive almost all the time.
I will let you know, because you can do it also.
Through either great genes and parents, or the grace of God, or both, I
have always had a Positive Mental Attitude.
Even during my worst arthritis attacks, when I was 5 to 10 years old, I
would answer ‘fine’ when anyone asked how I was doing.
I would be in tremendous pain and discomfort in hospital and my
grandmother would phone me and I would tell her I was fine.
When I read Napoleon Hill's books Think and Grow Rich and Law of
Success in my early 20’s, Hill's Success Principles, namely having a
Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), practically jumped off the pages at me.
Napoleon Hill taught that our thoughts are the only thing that God gave us
100% control over.
The idea that we must deliberately focus our thoughts in a positive
direction, or be drowned by the stresses and negativity that life can throw at
us, was how my brain had been working since a young age.
I get to choose to be AMAZING and HAPPY!
Here is what I focus on to put myself in an AMAZING and HAPPY state.
First, I was born and raised, and still live in, Canada. We have universal
healthcare in Canada which means that the only thing I pay for when
leaving hospital is the bedside television I had the choice of renting while I
was there. Doctor’s visits cost me nothing. Since I have been hospitalized
about 40 times, this is a tremendous blessing that I did nothing to deserve.
If I had been born in the U.S., and many other countries, my parents would
not have been able to afford healthcare insurance and no insurance
company would have covered me. People born in third world countries
have little to no healthcare.
Second, people in third world countries don’t get to eat every day. I eat 3 or
more times daily.
Third, people in third world countries have either no, or substandard,
housing. I live in a beautiful condo on the 31st floor in Mississauga,
Ontario, the greatest city in Canada, the greatest country in the world, in
I am no nicer, kinder, or more deserving of the blessings I have than people
born in poverty are, and yet I get to enjoy blessings most of the world does
People tend to compare themselves to the wealthy and famous and they
forget that just being born in a developed country instead of a third world
country is a global blessing.
People forget that getting to eat every day is a blessing most of the world
does not experience.
Our society, especially the media, focuses our attention on the newest and
greatest everything, so that we soon become discontent with what most of
the world would treasure.
When I think of complaining, I picture myself speaking to someone from a
third world country. I wonder what the person would think of my “problem”
or source of discontent and how I would feel telling them about it.
I challenge you, for the next 7 days to answer AMAZING every time
someone asks you how you are doing.
Notice the reaction you get. Notice how positive and happy it makes you
feel. Be prepared for the conversations it will start. Have your speech ready
about why you answered AMAZING because people will ask you.
Tom too tall Cunningham
The world’s most well-known Napoleon Hill Foundation Certified Instructor
Creator of the international bestselling Journeys To Success book series
Founder of Journey To Success Radio
International Inspirational Speaker