As a regular columnist for DM Review, I submit my columns to the magazine approximately 45 days prior to cover date. This month's column was written on September 20, 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In writing this column, I didn't have it in my heart to not address this tragic event in an appropriate manner. Typically, the articles in DM Review focus on technology and various business issues around technology. You read DM Review to learn how to be more successful in your chosen career. However, the "core" skills that actually dictate how successful your career is or is not have little to do with technology.
There are several key values that will determine your level of success. These are the same values that have built this country into the wonderful nation that it is and have been brought to the forefront during and following the attacks of September 11.
We've all heard the stories of the hundreds of brave firemen and policemen that were killed while trying to save others in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Paul, a very close friend of mine, and I were talking about these heroes. Paul stated that each fireman that died saved at least 12 people who would have otherwise perished. Two days later, CNN reported that over 25,000 people successfully made it out of the World Trade Center towers including one man who is legally blind. I should have realized that Paul understood the facts of the situation a little better than most news reporters; Paul's father was a Chicago fireman who died in the line of duty.
In our careers, it is unlikely that we will ever face the challenges that a fireman or a policeman will face; however, it is critical for us to be courageous in our lives. Many times we're afraid to take on difficult tasks or accept particular challenges that confront us professionally. It is okay to be afraid or to have some doubts. Successful people do not run from their fears, they respond to them and channel those fears into positive energy.
Learn How to Serve Others
Following the tragedy, many volunteered tehir efforts, in varios ways, to help others. The secret to success is to figure out how you can best serve others. As the president of a company, I look for people who go above and beyond the call of duty. These people are hard to find, but they are worth their weight in gold. These are the people that receive the highest raises, bonuses and get the promotions. If your boss/customers do not appreciate/reward your efforts, there are many other people that will gladly reward you.
Work Hard and Never Give Up
Since September 11, we have seen rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble of the World Trade Center with hopes that there are still some survivors. These workers are laboring 12 to 14 hours a day with only the slimmest chance that they will find anyone else. Despite the odds against them, these people continue to labor and to have faith that they will find someone.
Most of the time you will experience your greatest achievements immediately after experiencing your worst failure. If you maintain a strong work ethic and never lose your faith, it is only a matter of time before you succeed. During those times when my motivation is not optimal, I remember the following lines from Rudyard Kipling's fantastic poem IF: If you can fill the unforgiving minute / With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, / Yours is the Earth and all that is in it.
Every moment of every day is a gift; please do not waste that moment.
I know none of us will ever forget the tragic events on September 11, 2001. Let us also never forget that we live in a great country. God bless America.
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