USED TO BE THAT I HAD EVERYTHING AND YOU HAD NUTHIN’…NOT FOR NUTHIN’ BUT GUESS WHAT? IT AIN’T OVER ’TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS — I LOVE YOU KATE SMITH!!!

Y’know if you’re lucky it’s a long life.

Generally.

I mean if you’re sick or infirm, disabled or in the throes of mental illness, addiction, homelessness or the like you’d probably be more inclined to opt for an early hall pass.

And with legitimate and easily understood reason.

But you don’t get to make that call.

You gotta play the hand you’re dealt.

The trick is to figure out ways — whatever it takes really — to make the best of it.

Attitude not aptitude.

A fierce and unshakable positive attitude along with the deepest reservoir of self-esteem and belief-in-self combine to form the winning ticket.

So with a handle on this kind of attitude and then a mastery of it, a long life can be or become a very good thing.

And a long life is sure to promise lots of change.

The next hurdle to clear involves adjustment. Adjustment to change.

In America’s former pastime otherwise known as the game of baseball, it is the pitcher’s responsibility to keep the batter off-balance in an effort to record the out. Offerings are mixed and varied in order to keep the hitter guessing. In, out. Up, down. Heat, junk.

To solve the pitcher, the hitter must think ahead and adjust to what the pitcher is throwing. In turn, the pitcher must react to the batter’s adjustments to him. Cat and mouse. And to the baseball purist, fascinating.

This slice of hardball strategy is a microcosm of life.

It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to it, simple as that.

And in order to respond as effectively as you are capable and in a clear-minded and resolute fashion, the reliance on the “right” attitude is imperative.

But attitude adjustment is the key.

With that, you have a chance to win; without it, you’re sunk.

Usually the most critical time for an attitude adjustment is when things aren’t going well.

You know the drill: suck it up, eye on the prize, deep breaths and we will get through this. Focus. Relax. Relax and focus.

But even when life is going along swimmingly an attitudinal examination may be necessary as well, to prevent a radical uptick in hat size, from 7 ¼–8 for instance.

So the transcendence of a positive attitude and the ability to make sage adjustments to what is tossed your way can not — to me — be quantified nor can it ever be undervalued or underestimated.

The impact is limitless.

Positivity.

Attitude adjustment.

Self-esteem.

These qualities are a must particularly when you lose your job and ultimately go through your money.

After a period of time you realize that all you have is you.

And it better be good enough.

You are stripped of everything you thought was important and you’re standing outside buck-naked.

It’s cold. It’s foreboding.

You need sustenance, fortification.

It’s on you.

It is you.

What becomes clear is that when you thought you had everything you really did not; it was and remains largely cosmetic.

And when you have less, little or nothing it’s really not the case, as long as you have and constantly nourish the best version of yourself.

And use it to your advantage.

With that there is hope.

And time — if you’re lucky enough — to enjoy a long life.

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in July 2016.]

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