Dr. Charles Pellerin is one of my dear mentors. For a decade he led NASA's teams that built Hubble Space Telescope. Charlie spoke to an FBI agent shortly after he returned from the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster. "What did you learn?" Charlie asked him. What did you learn by seeing the tragedy unfolding, the pain and the suffering on the ground?
The FBI agent said he took one lesson he will never forget, a lesson that forever changed his life. He said "One thing." "Many words were spoken to the ears of the dead that they yearned to have heard while they were alive". Read it one more time: "Many words were spoken to the ears of the dead that they yearned to have heard while they were alive".
We all want to be valued and appreciated. That's our most fundamental emotional need. When you express authentic appreciation to the people in your life, everybody feels wonderful and relationships become magical.
Why bear the painful burden of regret when you can wrap yourself right now in the loving arms of authentic appreciation. Appreciate your loved ones. Appreciate your parents. Appreciate your children. Appreciate your friends and colleagues. One day in the future, not too far from today, everything else will not matter anymore.
Mom, Dad: Thank you! You are my heroes and I love you.
PS: This article is dedicated to all of you -- our everyday heroes -- parents, grandmas, grandpas, teachers and you reading this now. Because when ordinary people like you choose to do the extraordinary, they become extraordinary. I appreciate you!