I was working as a marketing manager for a software company when 9/11 hit. It was a good company and they were doing some cutting edge technology work… But I remember having a distinct knowing in the hours after the towers fell that the stakes in life were too high for me to spend my days improving mobile technology adoption rates.
14 years before 9/11, a family friend was killed by terrorists in Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. I made a decision – even though I was only 15 years old at the time she died – that I would live a life that honored her death. I vowed to live a life where if at any moment I was murdered by terrorists trying to score political leverage that I would always be ready to die because I had lived life to the max.
For a decade after The Lockerbie Bombing, that’s how I lived. But now, here I was hawking mobile platform software. 9/11 was about geopolitical movements and the fall of the nation-state, sure, but it was about something more existential to me.
We are given such short and unpredictable lives on this planet. 9/11 was a reminder that my guiding commitment to the gift or fluke known as being alive is to “live deep and suck out the marrow of life and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Thoreau)
I don’t know if my friend would have been satisfied with her 21 cycles around the sun but I hope she would. And that’s my wish for all those who lost their lives 14 years ago in NYC, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, too.
The gift in their loss is the opportunity to see how random and unjustified the end can be and to live today at the maximum of your capability and comfort. Live your biggest life possible.
So I guess, in a way it’s fitting on this 9/11 that I start a 3 day journey with 5 authors-in-transformation who have committed to “live deep” by facing their fears and writing a book in 3 days. And not just any books, but books of hope, healing and transformation. In these books we will cover topics like: daddy-less daughters, body shame and body love, creating a life you are proud of, finding the path to living your most authentic life, building a global brand, and being the creative director of your own life and business. These authors will raise their voices as beacons of what is possible and extend a hand to those ready to come “live deeper.”
I can’t ever be glad terrorists stole my friends life or any of the others in the Lockerbie or 9/11 bombings. But I am always grateful for the opportunity to push myself to do the best with every minute I have.