My Father In Law has this incredibly warm and inviting voicemail message when you call him.

“Hi, this is Mark Schleder with Midstate Ag.  i’m sorry I can’t get to the phone right now, but if you leave your name, number and a brief message, I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.  Thank You very much and Have a Great Day.”

His voice is genuine and inviting.

His words are true.

It’s an honest reflection of who he is.

The message was so good, when I was in Corporate America, I copied it.

Verbatim.

Til one day.

I had a conversation with a colleague.

We were talking about motivation.

We talked about the last phrase of the voicemail.

“Have a Great Day.”

I told my friend, that sometimes, you can’t have a great day.

Sometimes, crap happens.

You have a bad meeting, that throws you off.

You’re kids are driving you crazy.

You get fired.

Or worse, someone dies.

It happens.

Sometimes, you can’t HAVE a great day.

My buddy says, it should be:

“Make it a Great Day.”

I liked it, but it still didn’t sit well.

Because, sometimes we can’t MAKE things happen.

We can’t always MAKE our boss implement our ideas.

We can’t always MAKE our friends follow our plans.

We can’t MAKE people do anything.

So, I thought what can we do?

In all circumstances, we have 2 things that I believe we can control.

Our Attitudes.

Our Actions.

There are things that are outside of our control.

The saying goes:

“Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how we react to it.”

So with that, I thought, in all situations we can:

Be Great.

Even in the worst scenarios, we get to choose what we do.

We can choose:

Joy.

Peace.

To believe the best in people.

To work hard.

To keep moving forward.

We can choose to:

Be Great.

I don’t mean in a fake kind of way.

I don’t mean a stuff it down and never deal with problems, kind of way.

But, being great is about what we do with what we have been given.

You can be sad.

You can be frustrated.

You can feel emotions.

But, what do you do with it?

Do you allow it to fester until you explode?

Or do you have a conversation with a great friend that helps you redirect your thoughts.

Do you allow situations to tank that new diet (eh hem, lifestyle change) and just eat pizza?

Or do you have a positive outlet where you can redirect it?

Crappy things happen.

Don’t let it ruin you, your day or your life.

Choose to:

Be Great, in all situations.

Oh, and what about the today part?

Why not EVERYDAY?

Because,

Today is the only day we are given.

Yesterday is history, forget about it.

Tomorrow is a mystery, don’t worry about it.

Today is a gift, that is why it’s called the PRESENT.

Open up the present TODAY.

Choose to do the best with what you have, where you are and with whom you are surrounded.

Today.

Choose Good.

Choose to:

Be Great Today.