Milestones are important in our lives—especially in our careers. They represent the culmination of hard work—that sense of real satisfaction. For instance, if you are a sports buff you know that no season is complete without the celebration of a milestone or two. Baseball, tennis, golf, you name it, they all have it. Who is going to hit the 600th homer? Will she win her 26th Grand Slam tournament? Who will win the U. S. Open Championship? So many questions. These milestones bring so much anticipation and excitement. They also demonstrate a lot of hard work an individual had to do to get to this point. Even in Hollywood an actor or actress has the goal to achieve the infamous statute for the Oscars that says he or she is the best.
Sadly, we live in an age where all too often we don’t take the time to enjoy the moment and appreciate being in the moment and being truly thankful. Too often we are rushing to the next big thing that we don’t even stop to appreciate what is right in front of us. We miss the important milestones. We don’t take the time to appreciate each milestone. We can’t minimize the significance of life’s most important milestones.
Thankfully, this is not one of those times. This journalist is going to take the time to appreciate the creators, innovators, builders, and all those that have committed themselves and worked so diligently at their life’s work. These are the individuals that recognize they have accomplished much, but realize there is always more to do, and true accomplishment comes from knowing when to appreciate all that one has accomplished—if ever so briefly.
This past Thursday was truly an evening to remember for me with the American Society of Civil Engineers awarding me the Excellence in Journalism Award. When the ASCE bestowed such an honor on me for my work in civil engineering, I was humbled for many reasons. The Black-Tie OPAL (Outstanding Projects and Leaders) Gala was truly amazing, as my husband and three grown children were able to attend to experience something entirely new and different with me.
I guess I could say one the coolest aspects about getting this accolade and being recognized is the chance to increase my level of impact on the world. I now have an even louder voice, if that’s possible. While I am already getting more speaking opportunities, I am really eager—at this stage of my life—to leave a greater impact on society. I have a great career and now I have won one of the most prestigious journalistic awards. Now it’s about the voice. Getting out there and changing the world. I want to get in front of people and talk about what matters. I want to influence and motivate our next generation to create and build beyond what they think is possible. I am most inspired when I receive an email or call from an individual who says I impacted their life by something I said or wrote in one of my blogs or something they heard on my radio show.
This milestone has just helped me reflect on how I might continue to support the next generation of problem solvers and innovators. These are the people who will be building our future, creating a vision for a new way of thinking and doing it as technology exponentially grows. When we appreciate a milestone, good things happen.
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