Photo credit: Fox News

Craig Sager was an American sports reporter known for his flamboyant, “preposterously garish jackets and suits” and fun personality. Sports fans were saddened to hear when Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014. He went through bone marrow transplants and America followed his progress and cheered him on through his heroic fight.

I saw an inspiring piece about him on CBS Sunday Morning. (Side note: Great television series. A must see for all.) It catalogued his career and the final days of the illness he battled for two years. We saw him in his hospital bed. We heard him reminiscing. We witnessed the mountain of letters carrying well wishes from thousands of his fans. His life and subsequent fight for life was uplifting and moving.

Captivating stories about dying patients rising to the occasion and fighting valiantly against an illness or fatal diagnosis are very powerful. As we hear about their journey and the cross they bear we gain perspective of our own lives through the lens of their experience.

It is fascinating to me that it is often only after we are facing dire circumstances ourselves that we find the hidden depths of strength inside us. Why does it take crisis to wake us up? Why don’t we all approach every day with the same fierce attack found in Craig Sager. None of us know how long we have. Aren’t there like hundreds of thousands of memes out there encouraging us to live each day as though it were our last? Yet, time after time we slip back into habits and belief patterns that don’t serve us. Unless you’re the Dalai Lama, we all do it.

In the CBS interview Craig declared poetically, “Every day is just a canvas waiting to be painted.” The colors are a choice. The subject matter is a choice. What you focus on is what you’ll manifest. Those things will determine how each day plays out. Even when things are — for lack of a better description — bad, like dying from leukemia, how you focus on them will determine how you live that day. Remembering that life is precious, that time is precious, is paramount even when circumstances aren’t making it blatantly obvious.

Not to get political at all, but . . . It’s interesting that leading up to this year’s election all the talk was about Donald Trump. The media discussed how unlikely his candidacy was. The conversation was about his ratings, his rallies, his unprecedented gain. Even much of Hillary Clinton’s own rhetoric was about “not Trump”. And sure enough, look what we got . . . Trump. Whether or not you are happy with the outcome of the election does not change the theory that what is focused on is what will manifest.

Tony Robbins and other self-help gurus talk about language and its power. Even how you ask a question can affect how you experience the world on a daily basis. For instance, rather than ask, “Why am I always so sick?” Ask instead, “How can I get healthy?” It’s an easy concept to understand, but one that is much harder to practice in the face of frustration or fear or stress.

But in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions I’m going to do my best to approach each day with renewed vigor. Even if I get off track I will push a reset button and try again. I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous new year. May we cherish each and every day to the fullest no matter our challenges, large or small. Here’s to a fabulous 2017!