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“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” Jim Rohn

How often do you go around wishing for things to happen? Over the many years of your life, think of ALL your wishes – around birthday cakes, Santa’s lap, waiting for the phone to ring. How often do those wishes actually become reality? What if someone could actually grant you that wish? Not in theory or for pretend, but in reality?

What would you wish for?

After speaking at conference earlier this week, a pediatric oncologist came up and gave me a big hug. She shared the impact of my story on her. The message reminded her how profoundly important her work is for the patients she serves; it reminded her how much she mattered; and it reminded her of how much she loved the people she served. I asked her to share her favorite experience from work.

She hesitated and became visibly emotional as she told me about a little 8-year-old boy. She’d gotten to know him well over the months of his battle with cancer. It was a battle he was no longer capable of continuing.

There was a special day when a representative of Make-A-Wish came into his room. These are the beautiful people who make a sick child’s dream come true. From going to Disney World to meeting a pro athlete to riding in a fire truck – whatever the wish becomes reality.

She asked the little boy if he understood. He did. So she asked him what he wished for.

He looked around the room, at his parents, then back to the woman and responded: “My parents don’t know how sick I am; they don’t know I am dying. My wish is that they be at peace when I am gone.”

Don’t somehow miss what he just wished for. Read it again.

Here’s a little boy, able to meet any celebrity or athlete, take any trip, receive any toy in the world….and he uses his one wish to bring peace to his parents once he is gone.

So often our wishes are for our life to get better. This little dying boy reminds us that our real wish should instead be that we get better. In understanding the joy of what life is really about it frees us to wish for things that are worthy of hoping for, moving toward, taking action on, and celebrating with others. It provides meaning in our living and peace in our dying.

Today, feel free to wish to excel at being a superior student, nurse, executive, parent and leader. Set massive goals in life and move boldly toward them. But also understand that real success is not the attainment of goals, it’s the person you become along the way.

** By the way, Make-A-Wish told him they’d do everything in their power to ensure that his wish became realized. But asked if there might be any other wish they could grant. His only other dream was pretty simple: He loved the name – and the look – of the Jeep Liberty. He wanted to go for a ride in a brand new Liberty. His wish was granted as his last car ride from the hospital was in the front seat of a brand new Jeep Liberty.

If only all wishes were as easy to realize.

John O’Leary

If these messages inspire you, why not choose to both forward along to those you love and to follow John’s daily insight through his Facebook and Twitter posts? It may just be what you need to advance forward on your wishes!

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