On December 30, 2005, I was awakened by a deafening noise, explosions, thick smoke and the rattling of fire raging mercilessly and engulfing my universe. In an instant, I was back in the holocaust war zone of my youth. Although half asleep, my thoughts came quickly. “Run, run for your life. Get out.” My breathing was shallow but my heart was beating fast. Fortunately, my husband and I did get out in the nick of time. As we exited the house, the roof over our bedroom collapsed. From the front yard, I watched the house burn but as it did, the survivor in me kicked in. It was the house that was burning, not me. I was safe. The Nazis did not get me as a child, and the fire was not going to get me then. The lessons learned about surviving have to do with fate, destiny and luck. Surviving is also a conscious decision that comes from the ability to stay calm in the face of danger. As a child in the Nazi camps, I learned to carry-on, entertain myself, and avoid panic. Those traits served me well through the years and have helped me deal with all types of threats, disappointments and vulnerabilities. Another trait of survivorship is self-reliance. Survivors learn how to improvise and do things for themselves. Lastly, survivors think on their feet. They make quick decisions based on their ability to assess a situation and then they take action. These are the skills I’ve developed and applied in my personal and professional life.