3 Lessons I Learned from September 11th

Being from New York I will never forget the fear that gripped my heart during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Frantically trying to reach every family member and friend that worked in the World Trade Center I recall the hours of waiting before getting word that everyone was safe, except for my neighbor. Later I would learn that he was one of the 343 New York City firefighters killed that day.

In the hours following I reflected on how fragile life is. How short our time here really is. How important it is to celebrate life every day.

I considered myself a relatively happy person but didn’t always act like it. I often relied on outside sources to feed my happiness instead of recognizing that happiness is an inside job. I desired to do more with my life but was constantly waiting for the “right time” to change careers and launch my business. But was there ever really a right time or was this just an excuse to stay in my comfort zone.

As I replayed the images of the planes hitting the towers I asked myself…

What could I have done differently with my life if I knew I was going to die that day?

Had I accomplished everything I wanted to do?

Did I make a real impact on the lives of others?

Was my life filled with gratitude and appreciation?

Sadly, no. I had barely scratched the surface of the dreams that burned deep in my heart and I spent most of my time focused on what I didn’t have rather than being thankful for all I did have.

It was then that I changed my perspective and decided to begin living an intentional life. No more waiting. No more excuses. No more wasting precious time. No matter how much time I had left I was determined to make every second count. It was up to me to take control of my future and start living each day to the max.

Here are 3 Life Lessons I put into practice since September 11, 2001 that will help you to live an intentional life too.

1. Live Life as a Thank You
Every evening I write down my happiest moment of the day. This is part of my daily happiness practice. No matter what occurred in the day I decide to find a happy moment in it.

Never take for granted the richness of your life. We each have been given a beautiful gift. Appreciate it. Celebrate it. Enjoy it. Choose to live your life as a huge Thank You.

Start by releasing all of the negative energy and self-defeating thoughts. Focus on the wonderful opportunity you have every day to live, laugh, love, and make a difference in the world. When you live life as a thank you, you will receive an abundance of peace, joy and contentment in return.

2. Embrace Your Yes
As women we tend to put the needs of others before our own, which can leave us drained, overwhelmed, even resentful. It’s important that you begin prioritizing the most important woman in your life — you!

When you say yes to yourself you are telling others that you are important too. Stop putting yourself and your needs on the back burner of life. Maximize the time you have while you have it. Sure, taking care of children, supporting a parter, being available to family, and investing in your career are important, but so are you.

It’s time you get to work on that business plan, book proposal, travel itinerary, or whatever it is YOU need to say yes to.

3. Die Empty
As you live life as a thank you and begin to embrace your yes, you will automatically find yourself on the path to dying empty. Myles Munroe says that the cemeteries are full of unreleased potential. People who had good ideas and even better intentions but died with their vision still inside of them.

I encourage you to stop waiting and start doing. Don’t worry about how long it’s going to take to reach your goals. Just start. Success is a journey not a destination. Make a commitment to die empty by becoming an active participant in your destiny.

Now is YOUR time to start living an intentional life. Here’s to the journey!

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