Sitting in the train that fateful morning I realized that I was the only person in the subway car who realized what was happening downtown, and downtown was the direction all of us were headed. I sat there listening to an AM radio station (the only radio you can get underground) and I heard about the planes hitting the World Trade Center buildings. It was a unique position to be in; one foot in blissful pre-9/11 New York and one foot in its heartbreaking aftermath.
I’m not sure what happened to me as I took the long walk from Downtown NY to the Upper West Side to be reunited with my wife. I don’t know if I just felt like so many things were out of my control that I had to take control, but I can trace my entrepreneurial beginning back to that event. I got serious (probably too serious) about taking control of my fate. I began my business self-education. I became obsessed with books that showed me how to make change in my life. And I began preparing to start my first business.
With the recent events in the UK it’s all fresh again, the feelings of helplessness, numbness and even cynicism all come back. But deep inside I know it’s okay to feel like these things are out of my control. These are things we don’t need to worry about. We must focus on the things that are within our immediate sphere of influence. We must be so focused on the things we can control that we aren’t as concerned about the singular events we see on the news. Compassion, sorrow and empathy are the feelings we should kindle in times like these. These are feelings that make a positive difference in any situation.
So let’s make the best of situations like these. What can we do to create peace in our everyday lives? Let’s focus on these things and then pass it on. As Gandhi put it so concisely: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
In the notes: Do you have a single event you can point to that triggered you to change the trajectory of your life?