Unbutton Your Life…

By Jeff Justice, CSP

“I just can’t help it — that guy really knows how to push my buttons!” I think there really are people who enjoy pushing them, but I’m suggesting that since they are your buttons, you can disconnect them! Or, reroute your wiring so button-pushing turns something on inside you, rather than turning you off!

When actor Christopher Reeves had a riding accident with his horse, he became paralyzed instantly. Lying in the hospital’s emergency room, relying on machines to breathe for him — with doctors and nurses running frantically — he looked up and saw one whacked-out doctor doing crazy things, like out of a Marx Brothers movie.

Eventually, Reeves couldn’t contain himself any longer and he started laughing. The doctor pulled off his mask — it was Robin Williams! Have you heard this story? As college roommates, they had promised that they would be there for each other if anything ever happened. And as soon as Robin heard about the accident, he knew he had to get his friend laughing again.

Have you ever attended a big motivational rally where Zig Ziglar and other big speakers come in at once? Zig does them because he believes “your attitude affects your altitude.” Christopher Reeves came to Atlanta to speak at one of these powerful meetings, and a reporter from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed him. “You’ve had such a successful acting career and a great family, and then you became paralyzed,” the reporter said. “Can you tell me what keeps you going?” Christopher looked down at his electric wheelchair and replied, “Batteries.” The reporter just lost it — he thought his own life was going badly, but a guy totally paralyzed from the neck down was still finding humor in his situation and humor in life.

Here’s my point: I believe Christopher Reeves has worked at least as hard on his mental rehabilitation as he has on his physical recovery. And while his body has not recovered from the accident, his mind has rebounded — he is the Man of Steel in his resolve to become better than his circumstances. When you have disappointments, setbacks and stress in your life, what keeps you going? Where are your batteries? And if certain circumstances and people manage to push your buttons, whose buttons are they, anyway? Own them!

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