Life deals all kinds of blows, but how you deal with them is what matters. For Lauren Manning, that was not only true as she worked hard to build a successful career on Wall Street, but also as she fought for her life after suffering severe injuries on September 11, 2001. In tribute to all the unsung heroes who showed up to work on 9/11 ready to start their day, not realizing it might be their last, today's Promotional Consultant Today is in honor of them.

After running late for work, Manning was in the lobby waiting for the elevator when the plane hit the first tower. The flames shot down the elevator shafts, causing third degree burns across 82.5 percent of her body. After she was rushed to the hospital, she was given only a slim chance of surviving her injuries. Here's what she said about that fateful day at a recent Women of the Channel event in New York City.

1. Defeat Is Temporary. The first lesson that Manning shared from her journey is that defeat is only temporary. She said her parents had raised her and her siblings on the principle that things happen, and you're not the first nor the last to experience hardship. As she pushed herself through her recovery, Manning said she tried to think about always pushing toward her goal of complete recovery. "There's only one direction to go and that's forward," Manning said.

2. The Win Is In The Effort. Success doesn't come without hard work. With an operation every seven weeks and a huge amount of physical pain, Manning said she was able to push harder by focusing on her specific end goal of full recovery.

"Even in the most unpredictable of situations where chaos reigns, I realized then that the ability to focus on your core vision is essential," Manning said.

That message can ring true in everyone's life, no matter what the situation, Manning said. It also requires questioning and re-questioning the goals as you imagine new visions of what is possible in the future.

3. It's Your Response That Matters. There will always be failures in life and business, and it's your response in the face of defeat that really matters, Manning said. The path to success is the same as the path to failure, so it is inevitable to avoid some setbacks. The key is to use the passion for what you do to confront the defeat head on. "Just as I had seen when I started a company and saw it fail, I began to see that those defeats are temporary and can become part of who we are instead of consuming who we are," Manning said.

4. Be Persistent. If anyone knows how to be persistent, it's Manning. As she faced years of recovery for her burns and other injuries, Manning calls persistence her "unmeasured strength," where, under adversity, she was able to discover how strong she actually was. That is true in business and in life, she said.

"You don't know how strong you are until strong is your only option ... Strength is never measured until that critical moment," Manning said.

5. Attitude Is Everything. Attitude shapes organizations, teams and even the actions of competitors. A good attitude can bring together people under a single cause, she said, and is the driver for transformation. In her own experience, Manning said her attitude and goal for recovery were able to bring together nurses, patients and supporters around the country. She said people are defined by how they act in times of adversity.

"Every day we begin again. We begin with a choice which is the latest in series of hundreds of thousands of deliberate choices," Manning said. "I implore you, gather your courage at those moments. Take those steps. Those steps of commitment—those steps that will be remembered by your family, by generations to come ..."

Source: Sarah Kuranda is an associate editor at CRN covering security. She previously covered all things channel, including VARs, solution providers, managed services and distribution. She has previous reporting experience at the Cape Cod Times, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and TNT Magazine. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in journalism and minors in business administration and international relations.