ARTICLE: “Managing Peace of Mind During Trying Times”

After the horrific events of September 11, 2001, our world is forever different, just as it has been for generations past looking into the face of war. While our leaders are responding to this injustice and terrible act of terrorism against our great nation, it is important that we, the citizens, reclaim our lives and our peace of mind. 
This is a time when you need to do your very best. You cannot do your best when you are worried. Doing something positive and productive is, I the end, the best remedy against the fear. But many people are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to regain a sense of balance and normalcy. People are most stressed, distracted, and nervous than before. Here are some things you can do to cope and reclaim your life.

1. Take action. Do anything that will help you feel like you’re taking control. Give blood, send funds to the favorite relief effort, invest $100 in mutual funds or stocks, visit your local fire or police station, and write Congress or your Senator to offer words of encouragement. Do something to make you feel like you’re doing something.

2. Review the safety plans and precautions in your workplace and home. Does your family have a fire evacuation plan? Have you had a “fire drill” with your children? At work, do you know where the fire alarms are and what they do when you ring them? Do you know your options for exiting the building? Can you quickly find a fire extinguisher or first aid kit if needed? Do you know what to do if there is a terrorist attack in the vicinity of your home or workplace? Identify any fears and insecurities you have now, and take action by matching safeguards and resources to them. Communicate these solutions to your family and colleagues.

3. When you fly, be ready to do your part to fight terrorism. Now that planes have been used as missiles of destruction, the ground rules must change. Whether we have reinforced cockpit doors or marshals on every plane, we must do our part as citizens. If you are witnessing an act of terrorism unfolding, join with other able-bodied passengers to wrestle them to the ground and get a blanket around them. Fighting back will save thousands of lives.

4. Pray or meditate. Ask for comfort for those who have lost loved ones in the attacks, healing for those who are suffering, wisdom for our leaders, and safety for our nation. Find strength with a community of people who believe as you do.

5. Live! Shop, go to the theatre, attend a sporting event, work, and fly. Get back to living your life! Grief counselors tell us one of the best ways to move past tragedies is to get quickly back to “normal.” It’s okay to grieve and think for a time, but get back to living as soon as possible! The terrorists want us to put life on hold, but America is a nation of dynamic and vital people who embrace life...carpe diem!

6. Spend quality time with those who are most important to you. I can’t imagine that people in America didn’t give their family members an extra long hug after the attack. Be sure to tell your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them. Get back to basics and get back to your priorities. These events showed us how very precious and fleeting live can be. You never know when today will be your last. Instead of looking at this as a morbid fact, look at it with the joy it will give you when your time begins to reflect the things that are truly important to you.

Let me end with the final words of Abraham Lincoln when he spoke to those gathered in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. His comforting and challenging words could just as easily been delivered to us today: 
"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what (happened) here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to...the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." 

© 2001 Laura Stack. All rights reserved. You are free to use portions of this publication in your company newsletter, provided the following credit is listed at the bottom:

Laura M. Stack, MBA, CSP, is “The Productivity PRO,”® helping people leave the office earlier, with less stress, and more to show for it. She presents keynotes and seminars on time management, information overload, and personal productivity. Contact her at 303-471-7401 or visit her website at