Today is a sad day for many people. Lots of posts on social media with people talking about what they were doing as they heard the news. Many lives were lost. Some shatter. Some turned upside down.

14 years ago today I was unemployed, renting an apartment in Irvine I couldn't afford and had about $15K in mutual funds to my name which was wiped out in the stock market turmoil in the days following that horrific event. I spent the whole day sitting on a couch a friend gave me, watching a TV that was sitting on the floor.

That used couch was the only furniture I had, other than a mattress in the bedroom, that also sat on the floor and a $15 computer desk I bought at Kmart. No tables, no chairs. I did have a milk crate and a pillow that I would sit on when I used my computer as I looked for a job.. that I never found, but I don't think a milk crate qualifies as furniture when you're in your 30s.

It wasn't long after I discovered real estate, mostly by accident. Luckily, I liked to read and lived within walking distance to a Barne's & Nobles. I was driving a 1991 Jeep Cherokee with out of state expired tags and it had a bad oil leak. I used to have to put cardboard under it wherever I parked so it wouldn't leave a huge oil stain. Ultimately, that jeep broke down in a very nice neighborhood where I abandoned it.

A lot has happened in the last 14 years. Regardless of what is going on in the world, don't let it stop you from pursuing your goals. There will be lots more tragedies in the future. Lots of distractions vying for your attention. Acknowledge them, pay your respects, but keeping pushing forward. Don't let another person's plan for your life be your plan for your life. It wasn't much longer until I flipped a house and took the profits to a dealership to pay cash for a brand new truck. These days, I collect a lot more in rent every month than my entire net worth back then. 

How has your life changed in the last 14 years?