Why we are here…

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”

Wilferd Peterson

As I read this list of attributes and behaviors I am struck by the fact that this EXACTLY the type of person/people that I most enjoy being around. They are the ones that inspire me to do more and be more. I just hope that I can be the same for others.

I particularly love the last line the most, “leave this world better than you when you found it.” Why else would we be here?

Generosity begets generosity…

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Jackie Robinson

How would the impact of your life change if were to measure your success based on answering these two questions every single day? Ask and answer question #1 first thing in the morning and question #2 just before bed every night.

#1 – How will I impact the life of another person intentionally and positively today?

#2 – How did I specifically add value to the life of another person today?

‘“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”’ Luke 6:38 MSG

Who knows, perhaps the life you impact the most will be your own…

The cascade effect…

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”

Muhammad Ali 

Have you ever made a list of all of those who have impacted you in a positive way throughout your life? We become the people we are through the sharing of experiences and and because of the influence that others have on our journey. Who are those people that have changed your life? Are they even aware of the impact they have had on you?

As I mentally run through the list of all the people that have had some type of positive directional influence in my life I am struck by how significant and powerful some of these individuals have been. The really interesting thing is that the people and events that come immediately to mind aren’t examples where someone was TRYING to change my life, or the lives of others, they were simply being themselves, and living outwardly in a manner that positively impacted and influenced the person I was to become.

I found it interesting to run through the list of people by season or stage of life. What is very intriguing is that there is a consistent theme of behaviors and attributes that stand out. Those that has the most significant impact all had similar traits and and practices that then served to help me form my own beliefs and practices.

The lesson in all this for me today is that we have a powerful opportunity to add value to others simply by showing up as our authentic and real selves. It is isn’t about TRYING to add value, it is about living life in a manner that is serving others. If you do this, and live this way consistently, you WILL change the lives of others. You might not ever know how, and the person who’s life you impact might not even realize it till years later, but the cascade effect of living your values and beliefs outwardly will change lives, starting with your own…

What you do matters…

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Yesterday someone came up to me and told me how much they enjoy receiving the daily quote and that they share them with a friend every day.  She said that a few weeks ago her friend messaged her late in the day on a Sunday afternoon to find out why she hadn’t sent her the quote yet.  She was laughing when she told me this and said, “so I logged in to my work email so I could forward the quote to her even though I was off of work.”

When I was listening to this I was struck by the fact that I really have no idea who gets the daily quotes, who reads this blog (if anyone), and if those things make any impact on the lives of others.  Hearing that it mattered to just one person is such powerful affirmation that the effort we put forth really matters.  I have long held the belief that if by doing these things only one person is ever impacted that it is worth the effort.  

I have been blessed to work with some incredible leaders over the years.  Those whom have inspired and impacted me simply through their presence and the leadership example they created through their actions and behaviors.  A certain few of them I haven’t seen in almost 20 years, but their influence on my life and leadership carries through to this day.  When I think about great leadership impact I think of these individuals and how they, simply through their presence and actions, cast such a such a powerful influence on myself and I am sure many many others over the years.  

My point to all this rambling is this.  Show up.  Be authentic.  Genuinely care.  When you do these things it will matter to someone.  You might never know the impact but your presence will be felt.  And one day, someone will share with you how it matters and they in turn will inspire you to reach further and do more.  Your effort matters…

Life is not transactions…

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

William James

This quote reminds me of the dangers of carrying a transactional viewpoint on people, life, and work.  The problem is that it is just so easy to get caught up in the activities of life and forget that we aren’t here to simply transact. 

A transaction is nothing more than an exchange of something I have, for something I want and the worldly measure of success says that if we get more than we give we have won.  But when you focus on giving, on providing more value in return than you have received, you open the door to really making a difference in the lives of others.  

Below is one of my favorite videos of all time and it does an incredible job showing how every person has a story.  Everyone should be treated with dignity, honor, and respect and you might never know the impact your smile could have on their day.  

What you do matters, and the difference it makes to another person might just mean all the difference in the world…

 

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