Last week was a tragic day for people that live in Melbourne, Australia. Lives were lost, and families were torn apart. We were reminded of just how close we can all come to death. Negativity struck again amongst a week filled with so much joy.
Everyone in Melbourne, including me, felt their heart sink as we rang our loved ones to make sure they were okay; as we desperately wanted to hear their voices.
As I texted my friends while gunshots happened close by, I was reminded of the terror that we can all face in nothing more than a split second. I said goodbye to an important client and had no idea that they were walking onto the street where terror was underway.
I thought to myself, as the event unfolded, “What if that’s the last time I see them? What if I had only spoken to them a bit longer rather than being in such a hurry to get to my next meeting?” Thankfully they were okay, but you never know.
My own mortality started to come into question. I too, like my client, was just about to step onto the street where people were being struck, and lives were being lost. If it weren’t for a colleague who stopped me in the corridor to chat, I would have been crossing the street at the exact moment that this devastating event unfolded.
Standing in the lobby, I saw many of my work colleagues run past me crying. They looked like they had just seen the most horrific event of their life – and they had. Amongst the madness of yesterday there are lessons to be learned
After tragedy, here are 4 thoughts to consider:
Thought #1 – We’re guaranteed only of this moment
An event like the one I’ve just described can happen at any time. None of us are guaranteed another breath. Tragedy is not designed to scare us; it’s designed to remind us of how important it is to be present.
We’re only on this planet for a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things, and we forget that so easily.
Thought # 2 – Perspective is crucial
Instead of rushing out the door and being in a hurry to get to work, be grateful and tell your family how much you love them. Don’t forget how lucky you are even to have loved ones to care for.
A sense of perspective in your life is crucial. The person that cut you off in traffic or the one who went two minutes over in a meeting room you had booked, doesn’t really matter. Reacting to everything that comes into your line of vision will destroy your energy levels and force you to lose perspective.
Refocus your newfound energy from non-reactivity into energy that can be used to enhance the time with the people you really care about. Tragic events can remind us of what we should focus on, but it’s not enough and can be easily forgotten when the sadness subsides.
Thought # 3 – Don’t let this negative world win
What happened yesterday is a one-off incident. Every other day there are people getting married, babies being born, people realizsing their passion, and new lovers sharing a first kiss. This negative world and these one-off horrors can get you down if you let it.
We can decide to live in fear because of a few isolated, negative events, or we can rise up. We can become what we’ve always dreamt of and use these tragic events as fuel to our fire. We can stop procrastinating on what we should be doing and get on with our life’s purpose.
There’s so much good in the world. It’s just that the light doesn’t get shown on all of this positivity because it’s in overwhelming abundance. Negative events like the one above are actually very rare.
Anything that is rare is more likely to gain attention. Attention equals influence, and influence equals a powerful tool that can be used for the wrong reasons. I’ve always believed that attention and influence should be used for good and to help everyone around you rise up.
Thought # 4 – Compassion
When you think you got it bad, you don’t. Sitting here writing this blog post makes me realise that while I sip my overpriced tea and prepare for an entertaining evening, there are families right now dealing with the loss of a loved one.
These families are asking themselves the question, “Why now? Why did it have to happen this way? If only I did ‘X’ differently this may not have happened.”
In times of tragedy, we can practice the art of giving and go and help in some small way. Maybe it’s showing your support for the lives that have been affected. Maybe it’s buying some food for the emergency services people who worked through the night. Maybe it’s something as simple as showing a sign of respect and attending the various funerals.
When you show empathy for others, you reinforce a sense of abundance in your own mind. Your success is not about you; it’s about other people. Remember that.