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"This health crisis challenges everything I’ve written and spoke of regarding the power of Optimism"

By Gary Moore

As regular readers of my column know, I’m being challenged in my life by a life-threatening health problem. A Neuroendocrine tumor is a rare affliction that is hard to diagnose by the average unexposed physician and medical facility. It is often identified with the late Apple founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, as this is the disease that took his life.

Luckily, my diagnosis was made and I’m hard at work with my insurance provider and family doctor to find the medical team/facility with expertise and experience to help me beat this affliction ... and beat it, I will.

I’ll confess, that this health crisis challenges everything I’ve written and spoke of regarding the power of optimism. Yet it is my optimism, when I clear my mind, that helps me focus on the positive outcome that I believe I will achieve. My plan isn’t to survive but to thrive.

I’ll give you an occasional and short update now and then, but this health-obstacle will not dominate my column moving forward. I’ll go into some detail today because of the overwhelming response and well-wishes from readers, friends and family since my diagnosis. Make no mistake about this ... I will die some day because of something, but it’s not going to be this.

Of all the incredibly supportive communications I’ve received, there was one short and negative response to last week’s column. The reader said ...

“I am a three-time cancer survivor and the premise you can will it away is insulting. It doesn’t just take your life away: it takes everything.”

I responded that she should read the column rather than just reacting to the headline. I don’t believe you can ‘will away’ cancer or really anything. My point is always that optimism gives you a better chance of overcoming obstacles because an optimistic view gives you the encourage to fight. If you pessimistically believe you cannot overcome, why would you go to the trouble of fighting?

There are more studies that I can count, verifying the powers of a positive mind in the treatment of disease. Believing in a positive outcome gives you the drive to have an increased focus on being part of the solution. With only seven hundred words available to me in this space, I won’t take the time to list or footnote the studies, but if you go to the search engine of your choice, you will see countless studies by many of the most revered institutions in the world, showing the power of optimism on successful outcomes.

Once again, I’ll say that there are some medical realities that optimism cannot overcome. And in the case of almost every illness, optimism alone will have little positive impact. The power of optimism comes into play in partnership with modern medicine. You don’t have to really do any research other than asking your doctor. Optimism will always give you greater chances for success than pessimism.

Vince Lombardi was often quoted as saying, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” I’ve learned over the last few weeks how true this is, as my mind works overtime with my diagnosis. When I’m rested, optimism is easy, but as fatigue sets in, my resistance to pessimism weakens. I’m finding two solutions. The first and obvious remedy is to get lots of rest. The second isn’t as easy but even more powerful and that is to quiet your mind.

Depending upon your belief system or faith, you may look at this from different points of view. I’ve heard some say that only in silence your soul or inner self will speak to you. Others say that through a quiet mind you can only create the solutions you seek. All good and I believe true. My experience in life takes me to Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know that I am God.” It is those moments where I can force all the thoughts and words that I allow into my head back out, that I hear the voice that provides direction, comfort and healing.

So enough on cancer.

Next week we’ll return to my mission of helping others lead a more optimistic life. I’ll keep you posted, and prayers are appreciated, but again, I’m not focused on just surviving, I plan to overcome this and thrive.

Gary W. Moore is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com.


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