Carlos Garcia is a natural born leader and a man of action. He has an infectious energy and people just want to be around him. Quite simply he's the man. Just reading his list of extracurricular activities from Chairing my Leadership Florida class to his leadership positions with the Orange Bowl, the Chamber of Commerce, or his philanthropic pursuits could make someone tired. We should just call him the Mayor. Yet he does all of it plus has a successful career and is a devoted family man. Now he's tackling what may be his biggest challenge yet. After experiencing some trouble focusing his vision in the summer he went to see a number of doctors and had a battery of tests to figure out what was going on. Although initially no problem was found and he was told it might just be hypertension eventually he was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3 tumor in the stem of his brain. As only Carlos could do he added some levity to the diagnosis: "Grade 3 is better than grade 4. But the location of the tumor is in a very sensitive area that controls motor skills, vision, hearing, and memory. No Bueno." No Bueno, maybe but no way Carlos was giving up. He travelled the country learning about his affliction and looking for the best possible treatment options. Simultaneously, he changed his diet and focused on being positive and the sentiment that this was God's way of calling him to service.
Somehow with all this going on Carlos used his diagnosis as a rallying cry to bring people together. "I believe I am being asked to help those that have afflictions like cancer to help then gain positivity and perspective." He started by inviting people over to his home for a prayer session. While he and his family are grounded in the Christian faith he welcomed people of all faiths so that people could just come together no matter their beliefs. Because he truly believed in the power of positivity. In a message to our Leadership Florida Class he said: "I am positive that all will end up being something positive for me and my family and all of my friends. Whatever that ends up being I don’t know but I do know it will be positive."
Reading Carlos' updates and the conversations I've had with him brought to mind the quote "when the going gets tough the tough get going." I couldn't remember it immediately and when I Googled it I came across this interesting result: 5 Inspirational Quotes for When the Going Gets Tough. All of these quotes bring to mind Carlos. I'm reading these quotes in search of inspiration he's living them, in possession of positivity. Life's synchronicity (meaningful coincidences as introduced by Carl Jung and expanded on by the likes of Deepak Chopra) is wondrous. We were in the final stages of launching The Positivity Project and here was Carlos living its principles. "All I ask for is positivity!! I ask for positive vibes and intentions in whatever form they come. I am extremely fortunate to have so many good friends and family that have shared some amazing stories and positive intentions with me." Ask and you shall receive, Carlos. Those prayer sessions that he initially thought might bring 20-30 people to his home have grown exponentially. The last one before he heads off to Texas to have his surgery and start his treatment over the next couple of months brought 250 people to his home! The power of positivity. Thank you Carlos for showing us the way. You will forever be the Mayor of Positivityville to me and our collective thoughts, prayers and "positive vibes" are coming your way.
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