After Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami, What Really Matters to You?

5 Life Questions to Ask Yourself

Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami underscores how fleeting life is. You go to your office, the gym or the corner store and poof, in a heartbeat, everything you held dear is gone. While anyone who’s lost a loved one knows this type of pain, the magnitude and speed of the Japanese disaster is hard to comprehend.

Nothing any of us do as individuals will bring back any of those who died or make better those whose lives were thrown into chaos. But, in some small way, each of us can make the world better with the pay-it-forward mentality that makes social media strong. We can all take this horrible natural disaster as the push we need to rethink our lives and our relationships in real-life and on social media. What if this happened to us? Did we remember to kiss our spouse goodbye, tell our parents or kids we loved them, or wish our social media contacts well today?

5 Questions to ask yourself

Social media and the Internet bring the news of disasters faster and in ways more personal way than ever before. Let’s use this opportunity to assess what’s really important to us. Here are five questions to help you.

  1. Who makes life worth living? The Beatles put it best when they sang, “All you need is love.” Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be loved by people who matter to us. Who among your family and friends makes a difference in your life? Have you told them how you feel recently? If not, how about finding the time to reach out to them and talk?
  2. What’s important to you? These factors don’t have to fall into neat categories. The goal is to look inward and understand what you want from life, not how others view you. Is it being a parent, extending your friendships, making contributions to a not-for-profit, or creating a meal or a work of art?
  3. Are you doing what you want to be doing with your life? This isn’t limited to your job, which you may or may not like. It’s about your life as a whole. Do you make time to do the things that spreads joy to your family and friends? What brings you pleasure in your life?
  4. Are you proud of your accomplishments? It doesn’t matter whether it’s having a great relationship, raising a family, starting your own company, or being the president of your religious organization.  What are you doing that gives you a sense of accomplishment?
  5. What’s on your bucket list? Are there experiences you want to have before you kick the proverbial bucket? Are there places you want to visit? Have you written them down so that you can make plans to achieve them? Or do you tell yourself that one day you’ll get around to them?

The strength that we can take away from disasters like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is a renewed sense of the value of our lives. We must use this opportunity to reach within ourselves and discover what’s important to us, not the day-to-day minutia. We have the ability to change our lives, to enhance our sense of self and achieve happiness and a feeling of fulfillment.

What are you doing to enhance your life? Do you have any suggestions for others based on your experiences?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


This post was written in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrible disasters in Japan.

Photo credit: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa via Wikimedia

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  • heidi cohen

    These 5 items made me think…the tragic event had already brought some of these thoughts to mind! Tragedy usually does…

  • http://www.VirtuallyYoursFromCT.com Anne-Marie

    Heidi this is a fantastic post – thank you for putting this out there. It’s tragedies like this that force us to re-evaluate and remember what’s truly important in life. And it is, at least as far as I’m concerned NOT things that can be purchased with money.

    I’d like to add one suggestion – remember to be thankful for the blessings you have been given.

    Thanks again for bringing the important things to the forefront…

    Virtually Yours,
    Anne-Marie

  • http://twitter.com/MrShri MrShri none

    I think the Japan events have left us all thinking. Life has its surprises and we can never be too prepared.

  • Beth

    Heidi,
    A thought-provoking post from you as usual. I have noticed that when something terrible happens, whether to us or to someone we care about, it reminds us what is important. Then we get pulled back into the normal pace of life and often forget until the next event that reminds us. Balancing living in the present and planning for the future is difficult. That is why, at times, I like to put away my phone or camera and truly immerse myself in an experience rather than document it.

    You’ve also inspired me to someday write about a life-altering experience in my life. We would never ask for these events but we can certainly learn from them.