What Matters Most


No matter what our lives are like, we all have our comfort zone — the day-to-day routine that keeps us going, providing order, stability and at least a moderate degree of satisfaction without excessive stress.

From time to time, we must stretch beyond our comfort zones. In my career, I’ve felt it several times — when I turned in my first front-page story as a young reporter, when I wrote my first video script, when I finished writing my first book.

In our lives, some of us will face crises that we had never anticipated, challenges that make us question our ability to survive. On one of my recent assignments, I found myself outside my comfort zone, having to interview nine people who confronted life-altering challenges — the death of a loved one, cancer, rape, addictions, the scars of combat — and emerged stronger than before. Telling their stories, and explaining what mattered most to each of them, posed a special challenge, as I had to convey incredible strength and emotion in roughly 300 words each. I’m proud to share them with you. As you read each profile, take the time to consider the incredible resilience of the human spirit. And take these stories to heart. Should you ever face a similar challenge, have confidence that you too can survive — and thrive.

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