Anyone who has been a fan of the “Fast & Furious” movies had to do a double take upon hearing the news that actor Paul Walker had been killed in a car crash. It just didn’t seem real that the 40-year-old actor, who rose to fame in high-octane street racing scenes in the fantasy world that is Hollywood, could have died that way. Sure, life imitates art sometimes, but this was just too much to comprehend.
Tragically, it was true, and the actor, who was known for his philanthropy and was hosting a fundraiser that same day to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, was gone.
At the time this column was written, production on the seventh installment of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise had been put on hold as the studio regrouped to figure out how to deal with what had happened.
Life is fleeting
It was another example of how fleeting life can be and how you just never know when your whole world can be thrown upside down. As human beings, most of us thrive on consistency and stability and the idea that we know what’s coming next week, next month and next year.
There are those adrenaline junkies, of course, who love the next challenge and relish the chance to take everything they know and throw it out the window in favor of a new, more exciting plan of action. It’s the kind of personality trait that is portrayed in movies about fast cars and heists made from the rooftops of cars traveling at more than 100 mph.
But whichever type you are, you are not immune to the possibility of your life changing in an instant. And it’s a lesson to all of us to cherish every moment and opportunity we get in life.
Maybe it’s focusing a little bit more on your business and the steps that your company needs to take to achieve its full potential. There are so many things out there to distract us in social media and in our daily lives in general.
It’s easy to get sidetracked or push a project through without giving it your full attention. But there’s a customer out there who is depending on you to come through. That project is just as important as the one for that customer you helped when you weren’t as busy.
What are the priorities?
But at the end of the day, while your business is a critical part of your life, so is your family. So are the families of your employees. Few would argue that family is more important than business.
As you look to do your best at work, make sure you’re leaving enough to be the best you can be at home too. Those moments with your loved ones are moments you don’t want to miss. It’s not always easy, but you’ve got to find a way to be great at both ends and help your employees do the same.
As you start 2014, make it a point to find that balance in the way you go about your life both at work and at home. You just never know when life is going to throw you an unexpected curve.
Mark Scott is senior associate editor of Smart Business Los Angeles, Smart Business Orange County and Smart Business Chicago. If you have an interesting story to share about a person or business making a difference in Los Angeles, Orange County or Chicago, please send an email to [email protected]