“Each and every day is a canvas waiting to be painted. An opportunity for love, for fun, for living, for learning. To those of you who are suffering from cancer, facing adversity, I want you to know that your will to live and fight cancer can make all the difference in the world. The way you think influences the way you feel. And the way you feel determines how you act.”

Last Wednesday night was the ESPY Awards where athletes are honored for their accomplishments. One of those awards is the Jimmy V Award. It is a sports-oriented award for overcoming great obstacles through perseverance and determination. Wednesday night’s winner of the Jimmy V Award was Craig Sager. Craig Sager is an NBA and TNT Sideline Reporter whom you may remembered him by his colorful, flowery sports coats. Just looking at Sager, you wouldn’t know it by looking at him that he has Leukemia. That’s right, despite chemotherapy he was at the playoffs, full of colorful jackets at detailed reporting.

Anyone who has gone through or seen a loved one suffer from cancer or a serious illness knows that heavy medication really deteriorates the body. Cellular death battles the body and battles the soul. It is a very dark time for people. Depression, grief of your old life, anger, and apathy can take over. Such emotions can effect how hard you want to fight. Through all the treatment, Sager speaks with victory in his voice. His posture shows strength. He may not of been able to hold his trophy for very long at the ESPY’s, but he stood up for his speech with strength and dignity. No matter the outcome, you can tell in his voice Leukemia does not own him. What is his secret? Craig Sager lets us know in his award speech

It is his optimist nature that has helped him. He sees the glass half full, sees beauty in others, and most importantly, hope for tomorrow.

I think this is something we should take time to reflect on. Are we facing our battles with optimism and thankfulness that we are alive to get to face them? What do we expect to be the outcome with our current attitude? Take the time to be encouraged by his example of hope. Remember as we face large obstacles how we can accomplish life goals and health goals to look at good and not give up.

Each of us faces obstacles, but how do you handle it? We can control our actions and more importantly our mind. We often suggest affirmations as a method of staying positive during difficult times. You can try adding 5 minutes of gratitude into your daily routine.