Dustin Qualls is a member of the sales team at Mindshare Technologies. He’s a friend, a role model, and the recipient of last year’s Office Red Shoes Award.
His story was drastically reshaped a year ago when his only sibling distanced herself from the family and eventually took her life. His world halted. Dark, blurred days of disbelief and cyclical thought placed him and his family in the same answerless, emotional void.
In the immediate wake, each passing day only made the loss feel more final and irreparable. The family’s initial trauma grew into a desperate search for inspiration. As Dustin recalls, “I was just looking for something to pick me up and keep me going.”
That “something” did come, and it was so small and seemingly insignificant that it could easily have gone unnoticed. Tucked inside a fortune cookie, left over from recent Chinese takeout, was the message that Dustin needed:
Approach all areas of life with a bold enthusiasm this year.
“I really believe it was a message from my sister,” Dustin says, “because, in ways, she really did live with a bold enthusiasm. She was a kind, compassionate, and caring person—and I felt like she was passing that along to me.
“I need to take that along with the rest of my life—try to do the things she would have done for others. Take her compassion, her caring, her kindness, and roll that into my interactions with people on a daily basis. That’s the only way I feel I can contribute to her memory.”
Dustin’s response to his personal and family challenge has been a visible and lasting inspiration to those of us who work with him at Mindshare. For him to come through this with a redoubled sense of optimism and empathy is a beautiful testament to the power of perspective and, more importantly, to his sister.
By taking his sister’s advice to heart, Dustin has taught me how to live a happier life. I hope by passing this story on, more people will be able to find a way to feel uplifted when they need it—simply by remembering to approach life with a bold enthusiasm.