A lecture tour brought me to a city where I stayed at the home of a colleague. He had a neighbor whom I started speaking with, and observed that he had a serene nature and positive outlook on life.
"How did you develop such a serene and happy way of being?" I asked him.
"I almost died twice and that taught me to ignore the irrelevant and unimportant," he said to me. "I had problems with my heart. Just surviving the surgery gave me a greater appreciation for being alive. But what totally transformed me was riding my motorcycle off a cliff. The last thing I saw was the ground rushing to greet me. Then two days later I found myself in a hospital bed in serious condition. I had broken bones and wasn't certain I would make it. I survived and healed. And now I feel great whenever I wake up in the morning. When I go to sleep, either I will wake up for another day or I will go to a better world. Either way I am a winner."
(From Rabbi Pliskin's "Happiness",p.216-17)