About This Book


When life hands you lemons... make lemonade! This collection is full of inspiring true stories from others who did just that, and will help you make the best of any bad situation. You will find inspiration, encouragement, and guidance on turning what seemed like a negative into something positive in these 101 sweet stories of success!

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Five Ways to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark.

Everyone faces challenges, but some people do it with a positive attitude that transforms their lives. The role models in Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade share practical tips that you can use to change your life and turn lemons into lemonade. These people figured out how to find the positive, no matter how bad their situations, and they share how they did it. Here are five ways that these positive people managed to weather their own tough times.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Cindy Charlton, a triple amputee due to flesh-eating disease, was having a rough morning. She fell and broke one of her prosthetic feet while shuttling items to her car for her son’s school party. But she was determined to make it to the party. Cindy crawled to her car and continued to do her morning errands, keeping her broken foot beside her on the seat to show to people when she asked for their help. A friend at school helped her son bring the bags in, a gas station attendant pumped her gas, and her prosthetic limb maker fixed her foot. She even got to the grocery store before returning to the party with time to spare. If she had given up and given in to negative thinking, Cindy says "I would have never been able to find the help I needed to get me back up on both (fake) feet."

2. Count your blessings. A half-hour into Jo Eager’s favorite hike, she found herself in a life-threatening predicament. A rattlesnake bit her! The venom attacked her whole system, leaving her bruised, swollen and anemic. Her leg started to turn black and was temporarily paralyzed. But 15 days in the hospital and 28 vials of antivenin later, Jo pulled through and went home. After her brush with death, Jo realized life could change in a split second and focused more on the good in her life. "I practiced gratitude more than ever – for everyone and everything," she writes.

3. Make every moment count. Diagnosed with kidney cancer and given a year to live, Esther McNeil Griffin decided to take early retirement and do what she wanted. "If I had only a year," she writes. "I was going to make it count." She began by volunteering at the local zoo and editing her genealogy society’s newsletter. She even gave away many of her possessions. The year raced by and, still alive, Esther filled her time with everything she had procrastinated doing all her life. Twenty-five "last years" later, Esther has seen not only all ten grandchildren grow up, but even four great-grandchildren! "My ‘last year’ of life continues to delight me, after a quarter century of making sure that every moment counts," Esther writes.

4. Don’t take no for an answer. Twenty-three-year-old Alicia Bertine was not prepared for her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. One of the hardest parts was losing her hair. Alicia modeled as a child, and dreamed of modeling again. When she lost her hair during her aggressive chemotherapy regimen, she believed that dream was gone. But then Alicia really looked at herself in the mirror and saw the same face. She went out proudly without a hat or wig, and never looked back. After a second round of chemo, Alicia decided to pursue modeling. "I realized that the thing I’d feared most, losing my hair, had actually resulted in making me unique and memorable," Alicia says. "I’ve never again let go of my dreams, and I spend every day trying to inspire others to do the same. Never let someone tell you what you can’t do." She is now a successful model – without her hair.

5. Redefine challenges as opportunities. Renee Beauregard Lute’s husband, Zach, lost his job when his whole company folded. It happened a week after they bought their first house, and two weeks before the birth of their daughter, Madeline. They were about to welcome their first child into a household with no income, and they discovered that Zach’s employer had failed to pay their health insurance premiums too, so they had no insurance to cover the bills for the baby’s birth. Renee and Lute didn’t know what they were going to do. But they took Madeline home and Zach was able to spend time with his daughter. After a month of job hunting and interviews, Zach found a new job. "While May and June of 2012 were the most terrifying months of our lives, Zach was able to spend an entire month with his new daughter," Renee writes. "And that time was precious."

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