Leverage and Learn How Your Attitude Can Save You

Leverage and Learn How Your Attitude Can Save You
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Written by Steve Lawton

Your attitude is one of the most powerful tools in your body and you can use it to overcome a health crisis or major challenge

How important is our attitude in our life? I would be dead if I didn’t have a positive attitude while in the middle of a health crisis. My insane story could make a difference in your life.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a life challenge or a health crisis, know that your attitude can make a huge difference in the outcome. By focusing your energy on what is in your power, you can accelerate the healing process.

My story starts here with this picture. I love this picture — not because  it captures perfect skiing conditions, but because it is not the last picture I ever took.  

I took it on March 9, 2014 in Breckenridge, CO about 15 minutes before I almost died.

“He’s as sick as he can be and still be alive, and he will get worse before he gets better,” the doctor told my wife when I got out of surgery later that day.

[Tweet “The doctors weren’t sure if I would live, let alone recover.”]

With severe injuries to my head, lungs, and 11 broken bones including 6 broken vertebrae, the doctors weren’t sure if I would live, let alone recover.

Miraculously, not only did I survive, I recovered nearly completely. I credit my survival and recovery not only to the doctors, my wife and all the prayers and support I had, I credit it also to my attitude. My attitude literally saved my life.

By day seven of my recovery, the breathing tube was removed and I was strong enough to breathe on my own. The doctors and nurses told me it was up to me to continue the healing process for my lungs.

I no longer had a machine to help me. I had to do breathing exercises, and each time I did, it would loosen some of the blood trapped in my lungs which led to a violent coughing fit.

The pain was indescribable

A violent coughing fit with a broken sternum, three broken ribs and six broken vertebrae was by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

Yet I did the breathing exercise diligently, once every hour, knowing that a violent coughing fit would occur after each one. My determined attitude is what enabled me to do it. I was going to do whatever I needed to survive. The alternative was simply not an option.

Day 9

Two days later, on day nine, my lungs had expanded significantly and I was almost completely off oxygen. That was when I started experiencing shortness of breath and it was getting rapidly worse.

The nurses and doctors took new x-rays of my lungs that revealed a bilateral pulmonary embolism. A deadly condition that will kill you if not diagnosed and treated rapidly.

A breathing tube was put back in, and “big daddy” blood thinners were injected to break up the blood clots in my lungs. The doctors had saved me once again.


Although this was a major setback, I’m convinced that because my positive mindset enabled me to do the painful breathing exercises and expand  my lung capacity, the doctors had the time they needed to diagnose and treat my condition.

That is why I have no doubt that my attitude saved my life. my attitude enabled me to do the breathing exercises. They were the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but I’m alive today because I could endure that suffering.

My experience with positivity saving my life may be an extreme example, but it’s not unique. It’s been scientifically proven that attitudes improve results, whether in a health crisis or in life in general.

Leverage and Learn How Your Attitude Can Save You

Your attitude is one of the most powerful tools in your body and you can use it to overcome a health crisis or major challenge. By maintaining a positive, determined attitude, you can muster the strength to endure and recover.

The good news is that you can improve your attitude by doing some simple exercises. For three simple ways to improve your attitude and become more positive, take this positivity quiz.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer  the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

I’ve accepted the minor physical limitations I have from my skiing accident.   When I notice them now, instead of getting upset about them, they remind me that I’m lucky to be here.  

2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?

I appreciate my ability to remain positive even in chaotic or stressful situations. (usually…)

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the  goals and dreams that you still have.

One of my most rewarding achievements is seeing my children surprise me with their maturity as they grow into young adults.  

4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways?  Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

I’m all-in or all-out.   I’m not half way.   It’s a little frustrating for those in my life that want a little moderation every now and then…but that’s what makes me me.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I  love my ability to communicate and inspire people with my story and what I’ve learned in my life.    

About the author

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Steve Lawton

Steve H. Lawton holds a BS and MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as an MBA from St. Edward’s University. He has 27 years of business experience in roles from an engineer in the Astronaut office at NASA to an executive at Dell and holds two US Patents. Steve is the author of “Head First! A Crash Course in Positivity.” It’s a story about how his attitude literally saved his life from a near fatal skiing accident along with 8 positivity principles that build a positive mindset that leads to better results. Steve is also a public speaker and has given talks at Dell, Accenture, VMWare, EMC and other companies, he has been a guest lecturer at Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, and has given a TEDx talk.

In his spare time, Steve volunteers for youth lacrosse. He has been a coach and has served as president of the Westwood High School Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Clubs in Austin Texas.

Steve and his wife of 26 years, Deanna have two teenage children and they have grown quite fond of them.

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