Unlimited…

“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.”

Elbert Hubbard

What is the maximal impact one person can have in their lifetime? If you measure this based only on what you can personally accomplish it is limited by the amount of time that you have on this earth. But if you measure impact based on whom you serve by helping them unlock their gifts and talents the impact one person can have is truly unlimited.

To help put this in perspective; what is your greatest ability? What is it that makes you unique, special and adds value to others? How did you discover this trait? What was the key to unlocking this gift that you possess? Did you discover it on your own or did someone see something in you and then help you see it for yourself?

If you could write a thank you note to three of the people who helped you unlock your talents what would you share with them? How would you express your gratitude for what they have done for your life? What emotions are conjured up when you think of the impact they have had on you?

Having answered these questions, and connected with the impact someone else has had in your life, how can you go do this for others? Isn’t it time to create a life of unlimited impact?

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…

How will you remember me?

“Act as if today is the day you will be remembered for the way you treat others.”

John R. DiJulius III

How do you want to be remembered by others? If a person were to you meet you only once, what would you want them to say about you? For those who spend a significant amount of time with you what would you want them to say about how you treat those around you? Are you treating others in a way that you would want to be remembered?

Too busy to listen?

“No matter how busy you are, you must take the time to make the other person feel important.”

Mary Kay Ash

What makes you feel important when speaking with others? What signals do you pick up on that let you know another person values you? Do you know the answers to these questions for the people in your life?

One of the best ways to make another person feel important is to truly listen when they are speaking. Giving someone time is meaningless if you aren’t really in the conversation. Being engaged in actively listening and seeking understanding is one key to communicating value and importance. Unfortunately I am often guilty of being in a hurry and not doing this very well.

Today, in your conversations with others, see how many times you find yourself listening in order to respond versus truly hearing what another person has to say. Are you serving others, or focused on being served? You might surprise yourself.

What are you doing for others?

“Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What are you doing for others today?  In the next hour?  Right now?  

Sometimes in today’s world it can feel like life’s most urgent question is: “what are you doing for yourself?”  It is easy to get caught in a spiral of me me me because that is what society seems to be all about.  Especially with social media, etc.  

I do think it is important to answer this question in the proper tense. ‘What am I doing’ versus ‘what have I done?’  It feels that answering in the past tense is looking for praise or a pat on the back.  Focusing on doing for others keeps it future oriented and not about ourselves.  

Perhaps it is worth creating a mechanism and intentionally reflecting on the answer to this question?  Just once a day or once a week for 10-15 minutes?  

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