One Moment Changed Everything

One moment can change everything. That’s all it takes – an instant. Let me share two stories.

The first story occurred two days ago. My wife and I were at the vet. Dylan, my beloved dog lay dying in our arms. Time was short for our sweet, loving friend. Tears streamed down my face and my wife sobbed beside me. And then it happened.

Everything changed. One second, I was looking into the face of unconditional love. Dylan’s eyes were narrowed with concern, yet somehow still lit-up with love and trust. Time seemed to slow down and the next second, she was gone. Her body still lay there, but her spirit had left. One moment, she was one of our children, and the next, she …. wasn’t. I do not have the words to explain the difference, but in that one moment, everything changed.

Man's Best Friend

The second story happened two weeks ago. Don’t worry, it’s a happy story. I was just minutes into a presentation. I was speaking about ‘Why Games Work’ at a major conference. The room was full, every seat taken and late comers were lining up awkwardly along the wall. That day, I was taking some risks – doing some new things that made me nervous and excited. On the 6th slide, I hit the button and made all the screens go completely blank. That’s when it happened.

Everything changed. There was nothing to look at on the screens. So, hundreds of eyes turned to look at me at the same time. No one was texting or reading or settling in. I did something unexpected and you could feel the anticipation in the air. I looked into their eyes, and they mine. It was a brief moment, but it was amazing. It gave me so much energy that I gave the performance of my life. I even won the Award for Best Tutorial. Again, I do not have the words to explain the difference, but in that one moment, everything changed.

Award for Best Tutorial - I/ITSEC 2011

These past two weeks, I’ve been riding an emotional hyper-coaster with no safety restraints. Honestly, I’m a complete wreck. I’ve had the highest highs and the lowest lows. One day I’m being recognized by my peers for years of hard work and the next, I’ve been brought to my knees by grief and sorrow. And in both cases, the defining moment happened in the blink of an eye. One moment changed everything.

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