September 11, 2012

Inspiration and Motivation within us…and all around us

On this day, the 11-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, I awoke to a feeling of emptiness, quickly remembering where I was when I first heard about the first airplane flying into the World Trade Center.  It is an emptiness that felt so much like 11 years ago, that I have not felt many times in my life.  I can compare it to being told I would never walk again when I was first paralyzed 27 years ago.  I can compare it to December 5, 1994 when my father died from a massive heart attack at the young age of 59.  I can compare it to losing my best friend Tom to a brain aneurysm seven years ago.  While there have been countless other times when I have felt a loss, none of them have compared to the events that I just shared with you.  Profound stillness and silence accompanied each one of those events.  Inspiration and Motivation pulled me out of those events.

Thinking back 11 years ago on this day, I remember being glued to my window for a period of time because my wife and I had a beautiful view of the Twin Towers when they were standing.  On this day however, one by one, they looked like tall smoke stacks.  When I was not staring out the window, I was watching and listening to the television reports in total disbelief, shock, and horror.  The other events that I just mentioned to you carried those same feelings of disbelief, shock, and horror.  However, in every one of those events, there was inspiration and motivation not too far behind.  Watching the devastating footage on television, I quickly saw some of the most courageous people enter the screen, doing whatever they could do to help their extended brothers and sisters.  When I was told that I would never walk again, I was immediately told that I was a very lucky young man.  The majority of people who had similar strokes occur their brain and never lived…my stroke occurred in the spinal cord and I lived!  When my father passed away, a man who I see like my second father was at my side, almost as if my father had sent him.  When my friend Tom passed away, I quickly saw his very young son, smiling and being carefree…I knew Tom’s soul was living through his son at that moment.

Friends, I am not saying tragedies are easy or that we will ever forget them.  We will not and we should not.  But just as is the case with a rainstorm when the sun first appears, you are guaranteed a rainbow.  There is inspiration and motivation there to comfort there…sometimes by those we know, sometimes as 9/11 taught us, by total strangers…our extended brothers and sisters.  I ask you to remember this during the challenging moments in your life because I am convinced that no matter what happens in our life, we have what it takes to not only survive any tragedy or challenge, but we have the strength to thrive in the face of any tragedy or challenge.  There is a fire that exists within us all that we can always call upon for comfort in any moment and there are people around us, some that we know and some that are total strangers, to support us in our time of need.  Trust me when I tell you that I don’t think, but I know this to be true.  I dedicate this blog entry to our extended brother and sisters who lost their lives on 9/11, those extended brothers and sisters who found the strength and courage within themselves to help so many others on that day, and those other extended brothers and sisters who found themselves on that day and whose lives will never be the same.

Today’s Action Step:  Ask yourself, “Who has motivated and inspired you in your life and what lights your fire to motivate and inspire yourself?”

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