It was our team’s assistant who told me about the Paris terrorist attack on Friday afternoon. Right before, I was busy updating a presentation and worrying about something I don’t even remember now. I quickly halted both to follow what was going on in Paris and contacted our neighbor to find out if his daughter and son are okay in Paris. I have yet to hear back.
My heart goes out to the 500+ victims and their families/ friends who are suffering this terrible tragedy. I don’t know about you, but the Paris terrorist Attack quickly put life in perspective for me. We may all be facing some bumps in our career or life, but relative to what happened in Paris, it’s all “small stuff.” This is a good time to step back from the everyday routine and think about what life and success truly mean to all of us?
- Is life all about work?
- Is success about what level we are at a company?
- Is success about how much we make a year in salary and bonus?
- Is success about whether we get the promotion we deserve?
Society has taught us early to think this way, but should that be the definition of success? My definition of success is evolving every day but is moving more and more away from the above to the following questions
- Am I happy in my career?
- Am I a good role model for my kids?
- What am I contributing to society that matters?
- What would I regret not doing on my death bed?
Life is short and unpredictable. We all assume that we will live well into our 80s or 90s and therefore often puts off the things we really want to do until that magical “tomorrow.” The Paris terrorist attack is another reminder to live for today.
- Be present to today. It is all we have. Tomorrow is not promised. Am I doing what I really want to be doing?
- Be grateful. It is tragic those who died or were wounded senselessly in Paris on Friday. I immediately worried about what’s next and where? The most scary for me would be some kind of biological warfare in San Francisco. Then I had to stop myself. I re-focused my attention instead to being grateful. The more grateful we are about what we can learn, enjoy, and experience today in life, the happier, more confident and courageous we can be in whatever we do for ourselves and for others.
- Give and leave the world a better place. This doesn’t have to be big. Giving small by all of us can achieve a big impact.
- Do something to help the French people. Here are all the ways you can help.
- Donate to charities we believe in. Last night, my husband and I went to a charity event for the Painted Turtle, a non-profit that run camps for children faced with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. We are not big donors at all, but we were grateful to be able to do something small
- Volunteer time somewhere if money is tight. I spent 90 minutes at my kids’ public school just last week to cut apples, make labels, and organize the Chinese books in her classroom. While the teacher was so grateful, I felt even happier that I could help even in such a small way.
- Spend time with our kids. Don’t work all the time. Spend it with our family and especially our kids. Everything we do is an example for them. Choose to be a good example. Our kids are our future. We can shape who they will become. Prioritize that “job” along with the one that pays.
As another week begins, here are my questions for you.
- What are you grateful for?
- What do you want to do to make our world a better place?
- What will you do today toward making that happen?
I hope you will share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. Lastly, I want to thank you for reading and supporting my site. I am blessed to be able to reach people all over the world. Let me know how else I can help you. If you are new to my site, start here – Soft Skills – How to Succeed Like an Executive
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Best wishes. I am always in your corner