It's been almost a month since the bombings occurred on April 15th during the Boston Marathon. People all over the world empathized with the runners and spectators. As a native Bostonian, I was glued to the television set for news and stories from my family and friends. I quickly called my oldest brother John, who is a Lieutenant in the BPD. He said oftentimes bombers plan two separate bombs fairly close to one another. They do this because they know that when a bomb goes off, there are two different kinds of reactions: some people run away from the bomb in panic, and others run towards the blast to do whatever they can to help the wounded survive. The second bomb is meant to thwart those well-meaning good Samaritans. In a split-second life-or-death situation, I wondered to myself: what would I have
done? I imagine it would be the same way I might cope with any sudden change.
In my own work with those in career transition, I see firsthand how people react to a job loss. Some get paralyzed by fear, while others immediately jump in and put a plan together. Despite their own circumstances, they even go out of their way to see how they can help other people. These are the ones who move forward and land quickly. While you may clearly empathize with someone who has lost a job, take it one step further – and help them in any way you can.
Of course I would never equate job loss to the horrors of the heinous tragedy in Boston, but I’d like you to think about the power of any sudden change in your life. How would you react? How would you like others to react?
Do you run away ---- or do you rush in to do whatever you can to help?
I was at my nephew Johnny's birthday party recently when the waiter brought out the cake. Guests finished singing and all eyes were on Johnny as he carefully considered his wish. People started to shout "Make a wish! Make a wish!" And then, with a huge intake of air, he blew out all the candles and smiled proudly. "I got my wish" he said. "What did you wish?" I wondered. When he told me he couldn't tell me or else his wish wouldn't come true, I started to think to myself: "Who on earth started this rumor in our childhoods? How can it be possible that by sharing exactly what we'd like to have happen would have such disastrous consequences?" So I did some research. Turns out, the origin is based on a long-held superstition that telling meant losing. This is just silly. If birthdays are, at their core, about celebrating the role of friends and families in one's life and a feeling of gratitude and abundance, then this is precisely why the "wish" should be well-known by the people who love you most. They are the ones who want to help in whatever way they can to make it happen. Just like in our careers, when we want to make a change ---we need to move our minds from a place of silent wishes to being able to articulate exactly what we want for ourselves. It is only in doing this that people are more easily able to take action. When people are intentional about what they want, this often results in a positive outpouring of support and encouragement to make it happen. All that said, let's start sharing our wishes, not keeping them from others. If you really want something to change for yourself, or be better in your life or job, you first decide. Then create a plan to make it happen and share it with others who can help. Then wishes really can come true.