I originally sent this issue of ADD Success on 9/12/01. Though the writing style is rough the message remains the same.
CHOOSE TO IMPROVE
I was struck by incredible sadness yesterday evening as I was going through my regular after-work routine. I was waiting for my husband to bring our daughter home from daycare. Doing my normal chores. Playing Frisbee with our dog, watching my cats wrestle, picking tomatoes. Knowing that soon my husband would drive up and say ‘Hi Darlin’ and my baby-girl would come running toward me giggling and calling ‘Mama, Mama’.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the people whose lives had been torn apart by the evil, random acts our nation had just experienced. The people who would never again enjoy the simple pleasures of life – tasting a fresh tomato or watching a dog’s or cat’s unbridled enthusiasm while playing. I couldn’t help thinking about the people who were waiting. Waiting for news of their loved one. Waiting for someone who would never come home. The children whose mom or dad wouldn’t be there that evening or ever again. The people who would never hear their lover’s voice again. The scores of people – parents, spouses, families and friends whose lives were so abruptly ripped apart.
Along with sadness I was also struck by frustration. Frustration that, other than giving blood, flying our flag, and saying prayers it seemed there was nothing I could do. Then it hit me. I am not helpless in this situation. Though I can’t give the victims back what they lost, I can take active, meaningful steps in response to this tragedy. Steps to honor the dead, the injured and their loved ones. And you can to.
As in every situation we have a choice. We can choose to wallow in pity and fear and anger, or we can choose to use this tragedy to motivate us to change. We can remember the victims by making the world a better place one person at a time. We can each take a long, hard look inside and resolve to live the richest, fullest life possible. We can CHOOSE TO IMPROVE.
Here’s what I’m asking you to do. Read the questions that follow in Coach Dana’s Challenge and decide what actions you will take to Choose To Improve. Tell someone who is supportive of you what you intend to do. Take small steps every day to accomplish your intent and improve the quality of your life.
Every time over the next weeks you hear a heartbreaking story of loss and pain from the attack – Choose To Improve.
Every time you see that news footage of the plane hitting the World Trade Center – Choose To Improve.
Every time you have to put up with some inconvenience such as a strict security measure at an airport – Choose To Improve.
Get the idea? Right now no one knows how far reaching this attack will be and how deeply our lives will be effected. My bet is it will be huge. As you feel each impact, I’m asking you use it as your reminder to Choose To Improve.
COACH DANA’S CHALLENGE
Here are some questions to get you started in Choose To Improve. As you answer the questions, think about how you would like your life to be different and what small things you can do to Choose To Improve. I suggest you pick one or two areas to focus on at a time.
If you had six months to live, what would be important to you? Are you living according to those priorities? What can you do differently? How are you spending your time and energy that makes your life less than wonderful?
What one thing if you were to do it consistently would make an incredible difference in your life? What actions do you need to take now to change?
What is something you could do differently that would start a beneficial chain of events for those around you?
What unresolved issues do you have in your life that drain your energy? Is there someone you need to forgive or talk to or something you need to do to bring closure to your past so you can move on?
How do you treat the people you love? Are you emotionally available? Do you tell them how much you care? What do want to do differently?
Finally, in these uncertain times, please count your blessings and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. We are all so much more fortunate than we ever realize.