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The Career Coach: 911 -- An Emergency Call

The Career Coach reflects on the events of September 11, 2001 and calls for us to work toward our goals and dreams today.

pam.gifPamela Kleibrink Thompson

When faced with mortality, people focus on what's important and search for commitment. It's no surprise that in the days following September 11th there was a substantial increase in the number of people who got married. Many others re-examined their lives, their goals and their dreams.

What are your dreams? It's time to commit to them and work to make them come true. Start today. Take baby steps. But don't neglect your dreams. Work on your dreams part time, at night, or on the weekend. Share them, ask for help, and offer to help others with their dreams. If you commit yourself to doing what you love and love doing what you do, you will discover a new sense of purpose and meaning in your life.

When faced with a life changing event, we all want to take action. What kind of action can we take? Act on your dreams and practice random acts of kindness and see what happens. Each person can make a huge difference even with small actions.

Think about what you can contribute to the world. What kinds of stories do you want to tell? What kinds of images do you want to create? What are your dreams? What brings you joy? Pursue your dream and pursue happiness.

How important is the pursuit of happiness? The people who founded the United States thought it vital. The Declaration of Independence written in 1776 states that people are endowed with certain unalienable Rights -- that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Seeking happiness is right up there with life and liberty.

When you are happy in your life and work, you can accomplish great things. You are more creative and hard work isn't difficult because you love doing it. You would do it even if you weren't paid for it. Find work you love, then treasure it and nourish it.

The events of September 11th are a call to arms and hands and hearts. Use those arms to embrace one another, those hands to reach out and help, those hearts to love each other.

Many arms were bared to donate blood. This act brought into focus a fact about all humans on the earth; no matter what we may look like on the outside, we are all very much alike in the inside -- all over the world. There are only four blood types. Although each person is unique, we all share many similarities. It is up to each of us to appreciate the similarities, and celebrate the differences.

A very wise 5 year-old recently said to me, "It's easy to make friends. You just walk up to them, introduce yourself and say hello." When did we forget what we knew when we were 5 years old? Do something beautiful, loving and tender. Tell those you love, you love them. Show those you love, you love them. Introduce yourself with a smile to that stranger next door. Three days after the attack, we came into the street with candles to light the dark. We walked up to strangers and walked away with friends.

An attack on America was an attack on the world because so many people from all over the world live here. The United States is the great melting pot, with a long tradition of welcoming people from all over the world. Most Americans have ancestors who came from other countries. What makes America strong and great is that it is built with the efforts and ideas of people from many countries. In Los Angeles where I live, there are over 140 languages spoken every day.

September 11th changed us and united us. It reminded us that we have many things in common and we have limited time on Earth. We need to use it wisely. Many more changes will happen. Remember you are a member of the human race and become the best human being you can become. Live your life as a good citizen of the world, arm yourself with kindness, lend a hand to those who need help and follow the dreams in your heart. Work hard at what you love and you will help make the world a better place.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach/mentor for hire/recruiter and management consultant. She is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities.