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Jan 07, 2016 01:07PM ● By Laurie James

As we embark on a new year, most of us will be concentrating on losing weight, getting fit, making new resolutions to keep in better touch with others, or something of the sort.

This year, I am committed to embracing things from my past that have helped to define me…those times in my life where I was at a crossroad and the decision I made changed the course of my life and others’ lives as well. Because I won’t be living in the past (with regret), this will keep me grounded, centered and focused on the future while remaining proud of my past.

My most impactful and defining moment started at 8:45am on September 11, 2001. I was on the phone with a friend as we watched the terrorist bombings of the twin towers on Good Morning America… in real time!!

At that time in my career, I had co-founded and was presiding over the Professional Résumé Writing and Research Association — a venue where global career professionals could access educational, networking and personal/professional development opportunities in the careers industry. At the time of the attacks, I wondered about my colleagues and friends who might have been personally affected. When everyone around me was in a state of shock and denial, I found myself turning on a different gear, one of action. I was able to contact some colleagues in the Northeast U.S. and within 24 hours, we agreed that community outreach was needed to help the families of the victims and the thousands of people who found themselves out of work because of the horrific attacks. In a matter of days, I had spearheaded, a non-profit effort to provide FREE career services to those in need. With lots of help from colleagues in 19 different countries (including Saudi Arabia), we helped over 600 people with services valued at more than $2 million. Being able to make such a positive difference in the lives of others clearly made this a defining moment for me!

So, when I get discouraged about not sticking to a diet or some other mindless disappointment, I am committed to identifying and concentrating on my defining moments. They have impacted who I am today, and they have helped others.

Bottom Line: I am confident that we are all on earth for a brief period of time and making those moments count is all that we have to show for our time. Are you with me?

 By: Laurie J. James, MCD, CCELW

About the author: Laurie J. James is one of only 16 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Résumé Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning résumés in her career. She is a local Dale Carnegie Performance Development Specialist, a seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach.