September 11, 2011 · 8:14 am
Ten years ago on this date, Americans were attacked in an extraordinarily brazen, disgusting, and shocking way. It was, to Americans as well as to our allies, a seemingly debilitating blow that in its nature changed the American mindset immediately. We were vulnerable. We were fragile. We were wounded. We lost our innocence in the moment we lost our beloved friends, family members and our paragons of prosperity and strength.
I thank first responders all over the world for choosing their role. I thank the families of these brave men and women for offering up their support and for their bravery which is of a tensile strength unimaginable. Ten years on, my heart breaks for each firefighter, police, and citizen who were directly and indirectly impacted by 9/11.
I’d never before and never since been so completely apart by mankind’s overwhelming abomination against himself. In the same emotional space, I was and still am inspired by the indomitable resilience and love mankind offers toward mankind. As staggering the loss, the sheer bravery and tenacity of the United States in our recovery was equally astonishing.
Today, I offer you this short (and by no means comprehensive) list of 9/11 resources and the challenge to use your skills and love to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and those brave souls who act in service each and every day. I also challenge myself and you to engage your representatives in Congress to act on the recommendations delivered in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Like what you see? Share it!
December 20, 2010 · 8:45 am
Every journey has unexpected twists and turns. This year for me (both personally and professionally) has been riddled with them. I’m pretty good at planning to work and working my plan, but at times this year even the best plans were waylaid by situations beyond my control. That’s reality, folks.
Some of those situations were really devastating. At times, I felt ready to throw in the towel and at times my convictions were tested. On the whole, 2010 was a tough year for me, I’ll tell you. And I’m a pretty tough cookie. I called upon my mentors, my friends, my family, and my dad (he of the dial-a-pep-talk fame). Even with such tremendous support, I recognized a different level of challenging. I found myself thinking about “making it through this” quite a bit. And “this” kept being redefined.
So, when life comes at you harder than you expected, what do you do? I think a lot about winning.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
Honestly, It’s about continuing the journey. Success is reading the map, the conditions, and adjusting your course. the one-two punch of unforeseen situations can be exhausting. Was and is exhausting. I can share with you that there were times this year I found myself thinking, “What else could possibly go wrong?” and then steeling myself superstitiously as if simply asking the question would bring more bad. In fact, just writing that last sentence scares the hell out of me on some level.
But here’s the thing: something will go wrong if wrong means “not the exact way you planned it”. I also know – with absolute conviction – that those things that went “wrong” in my life this year have also been the very same things that taught me a great deal about how to handle tough situations with grace. How to put things in perspective. How to remember the little things. How to love people while they’re still here. How to let crazy people be crazy and stay out of their drama. How to find the funny in anything. How to stay creative even when tired. How to keep. getting. up.
I’m reflecting on this now in mental preparation for the new year. I won’t miss 2010 for its challenge and heartache, but I will remember 2010 as a year of tremendous personal and professional growth. I’d love to tell you I’ve been energized by my successes this year but since they were in the “well, I got through that one” camp, I’d be lying to you. I’m still tired, but I’m happy to report I’m certain of my success. I’m planning on my success.
Now, you may not care about my success but what I’m getting at here is this: keep going. I can promise you that failure is only one of your options, not your foregone conclusion. Keep going. You never know, your success may be just around the corner.
Like what you see? Share it!
December 10, 2010 · 8:18 am
While catching up with some of my favorite folks at Salesforce.com’s annual AMAZING Dreamforce 2010 global gathering, I kept running into people who were feeling a bit stuck. Some reported that they were excited for the future, but just not sure about “What’s Next” might mean for them. Others knew they had a problem with their NOW situation and were overwhelmed with what, how, when to do about it.
All of them had jobs. That’s the first thing that struck me. My take on this – even in my own NOW – is that we’re uber-smart or uber-lucky to have been delivered to a profession that is in demand now and will be in even greater demand in the future. But this blog isn’t only for people like us. I’m just pointing out that if you’re employed at all today, you’re one of the lucky ones. Don’t forget it and BBlook for ways to give back. In the U.S., walk into a room with 10 people and one of them will be out of work. Another one will most likely be under-employed. If you’re working at all you’re fortunate. Network your colleagues less fortunate on your social feeds. Offer time or resources to helping get people back on their feet. A couple of things will happen as a result: you’ll appreciate your current reality in a new light and good things will happen for other people. It’s a win-win.
About the “What’s Next” dilemma…
Talented people want to be recognized, challenged, and compensated. We want to be a bit famous in our own stratosphere. This means recognized for our contributions and challenged to bring more to the table. These folks need to feel their moral compass is aligned with their employers’ or clients’. If not, it’s a deal breaker. These are people working from a place of passion, and passion ignites innovation when nurtured. So that “What’s Next” feeling is natural for passionate folks.
If you’re one of the people wondering what is just beyond the horizon for you, I want to share what I learned while visiting Alcatraz Island yesterday. While on the penitentiary audio tour, I found myself standing in front of the solitary confinement cells. The Hole. A former inmate incarcerated at Alcatraz explained that while he lived for 23 hours a day in complete darkness and isolation for months at a stretch, his mind was free to travel. He closed his eyes and envisioned light. He left his isolation even if only in his mind and traveled freely where he chose. This was his mechanism to cope with his current reality.
It hit me in a profound way. Not only because this man was expressing so beautifully the human reality of perserverance. but also that his solution is so powerful for all of us.
Even in those moments where we aren’t ready or aren’t able to make a move, our minds are free to wander.
Creative, passionate people: Is your mind free to wander? Or is your mind tied up with circular thinking on unhappiness? Solutions are born when you’re open to conceiving them. Quit ruminating on what you’ve already defined as unacceptable. You’re clear on that, now move on. Seth Grodin has a great blog on using your current reality as a platform for change. Then remember: you don’t have to be able to see every twist and turn and end state clearly to begin the “What’s Next” phase of your journey. Just be open to the journey and the adventure of it all.
“What’s Next” is the adventure you create. Close your eyes and Dream Big.
Like what you see? Share it!