9/11 is a date that is burned into my memory, like it is for a lot of people. We can all remember exactly where we were right now 11 years ago. It was a tragedy that told us that nothing would ever be the same, that everything has changed, and that we all NEED to change. In and of itself, it was a terrible tragedy. But over the bigger picture, when you look at events that force you to change like that, the changes they help you make can be some of the biggest blessings of life.

Where I live now is about 35 miles south of where the Twin Towers once stood. There’s a high speed ferry that goes to Wall Street that I’ll take to the city today.

A lot of people from around here did not come home that night. The janitor in my office, Phil, is the sweetest guy you could ever met. His son died in the North Tower on 9/11/01. Every time I see him is a wake up call. It makes me appreciate being alive.

I was at Ground Zero a week after the attacks. (I hadn’t yet made a dollar online; that would be about two and a half years later.) I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at that time. I was still a truck driver. It’s absolutely crazy to think about now.

If you go exactly 11 years ago to this moment, it would be just minutes after the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Every one of us is connected by that moment. Whatever you felt at that moment, that feeling connects you to everyone else who experienced that day forever.

Try to go back to that moment of extreme vulnerability 11 years ago. In that moment, none of us knew what was happening in the world. But in that space, we all connected. You can see it in videos of the 9/11 attacks that show strangers helping each other escape the carnage. When you make big decisions in life, make them from that space, and you will be alright. You’ll make decisions from a connected place and not an egocentric place.

Whenever I’m feeling like I am fighting a battle alone in life, I remember moments like that. Those moments teach you that you are not alone. We’re all connected.

Don’t you dare exist alone. Make sure you’re connected. Stay connected. That is the only safe space there is.

Jay Kubassek’s WAKE UP call is every Tuesday at 10:30 am ET. Catch this week’s call here.


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