[half_last] On September 11, 2001, our country fell under an unexpected terrorist attack.  It was one of the darkest days our generation has ever seen and a day that will live in history forever.  We lost family members, good friends, acquaintances, and strangers.  No matter where you were, from New York to California, whether or not you knew someone in the towers, at the pentagon or on a plane, you could feel the pain of an entire nation.

America got knocked down.   Briefly.

It was a catastrophic attack.  We saw the smoke, we witnessed the planes, we called those close to us…we were scared.  I’m sure you remember where you were when it happened and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever forget; we all have our stories.  My story involves my father being on a plane that was leaving for Washington DC that morning.  Early reports were pointing towards DC as the target and no one in my family could get ahold of my dad.  Cell phone signals were tied up because so many people were trying to reach their loved ones at the same time.  It wasn’t until hours after the attack that I was able to connect with my mom who assured me that his plane had been grounded prior to take off.  I remember thanking God for his safety that day.

So why, years later, do we keep reviewing the tapes?
One reason is that we let our curiosity get the best of us.

What could we have done differently?  How could we have prevented this?
Whether we know it or not, we’re studying.  The CIA/FBI/ETC study the scenario in attempts to take extra measures for the safety of our citizens.  You and I study and think about what we would have done in those moments on the plane.  We study the tears and smoke, and we study the resilience of a nation.

There is a lot that we have and can learn about this tragedy.  

First of all, it’s important to take as many precautions and you know to take in your personal and business life.  Maybe you’re going through something right now; in a relationship, in your passion, in your education or in any other struggle.  When you engage with others, make the effort to protect yourself.  Use past experiences of others and yourself for improvements.

Look towards the future.  What elements can impact your success?  How can you control those elements or have a “plan B” prepared?

We can often be impacted by the decisions of others.  Sometimes things seem like they are going well but then you are blind-sided.  It’s important to always be on your feet and be ready to act so that you’re not caught off guard in any situation.

But if you do get knocked down, don’t stay down.

Just like the United States of America did following the attacks of September 11, you have to dust yourself off and rebuild.  Sometimes getting knocked down is just the beginning of something great.  If you’ve been knocked down, turn it into something better than you had before.  Today, New York is rebuilding to be better, safer, and bigger than it was before.  You can too, you just have to be able to see through the smoke.

Get back up.  Determine what you could have done differently.

Do it better.