We are all aware, or if you have somehow been able to avoid the news, you don’t have to look hard to discover that there is a lot of anger, divisiveness, and judgment pervading our society today. With hopes that the future can and will always be better, I write today to encourage you to practice kindness and goodness.
Moreover, I encourage you to turn any anger you have into acceptance, any disappointment into hope and any hurts you have into healing. Each and every one of us has the ability to change the narrative and the future. As is so often the case, my motivation, and my words today are a result of a quote I came across recently.
It’s hard to believe that 2020 is almost over. For many of you, that may be very welcome news. No matter who you are or what you do, this year has been filled with opportunities to evaluate problems and focus on solutions unlike any other year in history.
If you’re like me, as the remaining days in the current year begin to wane, my mind starts looking towards the coming New Year and what I hope to accomplish. Hopefully, you are also beginning to start thinking about 2021 and how you want to advance.
How in touch are you with your dreams? How often do you intentionally create opportunities to minimize, or better yet, eliminate distractions and dream? If you’re like most people, your answer is likely either a) I don’t or b) I don’t remember the last time. This week, I hope to encourage you to change both of those answers.
For, you see, I believe that not only is dreaming important, but it also helps you create your future. Yes, as John Lennon sang many years ago, “You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” In fact, I would argue that most people who achieve any level of success in any area of life make dreaming and visualization an integral part of their routine.
I believe that everyone has dreams and desires to be, do, and have better things than they currently possess. I also believe that many people who reach the age where they begin to evaluate their lives, which I purport begins somewhere in their early 40’s. Although they have reached some level of success they feel somewhat or greatly unfulfilled.
This week I want to challenge you to consider your intentions versus your actions. You see, I believe so many people have great intentions to do things that would not only greatly impact their lives, but potentially the lives of many others. The problem is they just don’t do them.
This is the third in our three-part series, discussing your success, your significance, and your legacy. After learning how to individually define your success, then transitioning to a higher level of significance, this week we explore the ultimate goal of leaving a legacy.
First, a challenging question. Are you leaving a legacy? The answer to the question is, yes, you are. Whether you create your legacy intentionally or whether you allow it to occur by happenstance, indeed you cannot escape the legacy you will leave. So the next, and more important question is; are you proud of the legacy you’re leaving? Therein lies our opportunity ro create a meaningful heritage that will have immediate as well as long-lasting impact.
Last week, we discussed the visions of what helps determine your definition of success. We determined that each definition is as different as each person. At the end of the post, I promised to come back this week to discuss the significance in light of success. I will conclude this three-part post next week identifying the importance of leaving a legacy.
Success, while something we all shoot, for is often fleeting and circumstantial. I am sure like me that you have achieved milestones in your personal or professional life that you were proud of. The problem is that we soon discover that what made us feel successful yesterday makes us feel like we must strive for more the next. Significance is different.
Significance takes our focus off of ourselves and shifts the importance of serving, helping, and blessing other people. When we achieve success, we are happy. When we achieve significance we experience true joy. Why? Because we have set aside our needs to focus on the needs of other people.
As I outlined in my book, Mustard Seed Faith, any success achieved by ourselves is hardly worth celebrating if we have no one else to share the joy with. When you begin to focus on helping other people achieve their goals, dreams, and yes, visions for success, then you are able to truly enjoy building a life of significance. And the more people you help, the more significance you grow in your life.
This is a timeless message but it’s time for right now is unquestionably and arguably more important than ever. I don’t have answers to many of the problems and divisiveness gripping our world today. I only know that what I can do is to do my small part in building into the lives of others. Chances are very likely that no one will ever know I have done it.
My hope, and frankly my prayer though is that enough other people begin to adopt the same mindset, we can and will begin to change our world one person at a time, one conversation at a time, and one random act of kindness at a time.
So practically speaking, what does building a life of significance entail. Oftentimes, when I read something like this I quickly form in my mind a superhuman effort that will be required to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that will undoubtedly stand in my way.
The truth is, you just have to start. Maybe it will be a little uncomfortable, perhaps even a little scary, however, I suggest you start small, build momentum and see how high you can climb as your confidence builds. It might start with a note, a text, a voice mail, or just simply a random encounter where you allow yourself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’d love to hear how you start, where you grow into, and how far ahead you move. If you start today and then do it every day, you will over time experience a certain type of joy that I can assure you will be unlike any other success you have ever had. Significance.
I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These highly valuable hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.
I believe that all of us are born with an innate desire to be successful. I have never met anyone who said, “I want to be an average parent,” or “I want to just get by in my job.” Perhaps those people exist in the world, but not in the circles I run in. Which, in and of itself may help clear a path to the beginning of success – if you want to be successful, hang around with other people seeking the same thing.
Whether it is sharing ideas, celebrating wins, or seeking accountability, if you surround yourself with the right kind of people, you are well on your way to finding success. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s step back and ask a very important question: “What is your definition of success?”
Hopefully, you noticed, I took last week off. Not just from my weekly blog article but from just about everything else I do during each week. I did a lot of things I don’t like to do, have never done, and can’t wait to do again!
I’ll detail some of the highlights in the contents below, but before I do, let me challenge you with a few questions. How routine has your routine become? What things have you never tried because you said you don’t have time but what you really meant was they scare you a little bit? Finally, who can you take time to experience life in a more meaningful and significant way?
Our current society is rife with criticism. We blame, cajole, and criticize everyone whose opinions we disagree with. It has become the platform for not only social media but virtually every media outlet everywhere today. The more venom we can spread, the more likes, views, subscriptions, and subscribers we attract.
I must admit, I watch with a tinge of amusement the positively charged posts on social media and the endless criticism that normally follows. I believe it has almost become a sport in our country to try to see how much shock value can be generated by a headline or sound bite. What a shame, and what a waste of valuable time.
In this week’s post, I want to challenge you. The first challenge is to not read the next few sentences and delete or move on from this post because you need to hear what I have to say. Pun intended.
I want to encourage you this week to work on something that you have been told 1,000 times. And while most of you will agree it’s a good idea, many of you will brush off the concept the same way you do when someone asks how you are and you instinctively reply, “fine,” even if you aren’t.
So instead of tuning me out, lean in and listen to what I have to say. There is not only growth for you on the other side, but you will also find an improvement in your relationships with other people. Especially those whom you seem to struggle with the most.