This is an excerpt from The New Brand You.

When Something Bad HappensI was working at my desk when the phone rang. It was my Mom. “Your Grandma isn’t doing well. They rushed her to the ER last night. She has a blockage and needs surgery.

Surgery is risky at any age. When you’re 97, the risks skyrocket.

I immediately booked flights for us to go to see her.

Grandmas are special, and my Grandma Broad is extra special to me.

Grandma always shares words of wisdom. These aren’t quotes from other people; her words are the very principles by which she lives.

When I say, “Have a great day, Grandma,” she often responds by saying, “Well dear, it’s my own fault if I don’t.”

When she was in the hospital, her situation was critical. We were all so worried, but she wasn’t.

She stated emphatically, “I need the surgery. This is no way to live.” If she was worried about surviving the surgery, she never showed it. As we all looked on with worry and concern, she looked back calmly and confidently.

Even the surgeon was thrilled with how well she recovered from surgery. Not only did she survive; she left intensive care and went back home within a week. The only evidence of what had happened was a portable oxygen tank, which she did not like at all. Grandma was used to being very mobile and it was slowing her down.

At her age, once you’re on oxygen, it’s tough to get off. Most people resolve themselves to that fate, but not Grandma Broad.

The doctors said if she could build up her lung capacity, she wouldn’t need the oxygen. They gave her a plastic contraption to breathe into every 30 minutes when she was awake to help build up her lungs.Grandma Broads Words of Wisdom

Even though it made her light-headed, she was blowing into it every 30 minutes on the dot. In less than a month she was off the oxygen and free to walk around the building and go to exercise class again. She proudly shares that she’s the only one in the Chair Aerobics class that doesn’t really need to be sitting for the class.

Grandma accepts what she can’t control and changes what she can. She makes it a great day, whatever the situation.

Your potential impact is so much greater than you realize. My Grandma’s impact on me everyday, whether I speak with her or not, is powerful.

How you choose to carry yourself and take care of yourself defines your brand. It will also impact your immediate friends, their friends, and even further, their friends.

My Grandma has inspired me to handle life’s curve balls with more grace. I don’t always have a choice about what happens in my life, but I do always have a choice regarding how I react.

To take a page from my Grandma’s book of life – “make it a great day” – and watch those around you do the same!

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Image Credits: 

1st image: ID 46587121 © Sabphoto |

2nd image: Julie Broad