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“It’s not the life I chose.”

August 9, 2016

That quote was from Mikey Nichols, who became a quadriplegic after shattering his C5 vertebrae in a Monroe High School ice hockey game. My son Andy Mendlowitz wrote an article about a charity golf outing to raise money for the Nichols Family Trust and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for the Home News Tribune’s August 6, 2016 edition.

That quote mimicked what I wrote in response to comments about an article I wrote about children that are “forced” to work in the family business who feel “it’s not the life I chose.” Here I was dealing with regrets of rich people making big bucks but not happy with their life while Andy was dealing with someone that truly had no choice about what happened but who was upbeat and optimistic. Life stinks sometimes but many times it seems the difference between happiness and regret is the mental attitude and trying to make the best of the situation versus being down on everything you do because something is not going right. Andy’s article put things in the right perspective for me.

Many of us tend to look at the glass being half empty and feeling bad instead of seeing it half full and being happy about it. There are many things in life that we cannot control. It is how we deal with the unpleasantness that shapes our character and whether we are someone that people will enjoy spending time with. I know many downers and of course many really happy people. Give me the happy people anytime. I also try to avoid the downers as much as possible.

I have a fixed budget of time – I just do not know when it would run out. So, I have gotten stingy how I care to spend it. I want to continue accomplishing things and being with people that encourage this and who also make me feel good and who do not complain about really picayune things and who exude positive outlooks. I do not like to listen to ranting about others and small talk that draws out negatives about things we cannot control or that might never happen.

I was touched by Andy’s article about Mike Nichols and upset at myself for getting caught up in the travails of my rich clients’ sons and daughters that have not taken control of their lives but rather, chose the comfort of working for Mommy and Daddy and then feel they have been short changed by life. They chose their path. Mikey Nichols did not.

My article and comments are at http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/firm-profession/art-of-accounting-making-sonny-look-good-78833-1.html .
Andy’s article is at http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/sports/high-school/hockey/2016/08/04/golf-outing-mikey-nichols-raises-money/88065322/ .

Mike’s full quote is “It’s not the life I chose, but it’s the one that I was given, and I’m making it work. I understand the importance of also spreading the word on spinal cord injury.” If you care you can make contributions at www.christopherreeve.org.

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