What do we live for

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

—George Eliot, pen name of Mary Anne Evans, 19th Century English novelist

Image of a woman holding coins and a note stating "make a change"

Image from Unsplash by Kat Yukawa

One of my most remarkable clients is the CEO of a local non-profit organization called Forgotten Harvest – the second largest food rescue organization in America. Last year, he and his team – and large numbers of volunteers – provided more than 40 millions pounds of food, valued at over 70 million dollars, to people in the community experiencing “food insecurity.”

Recently, he was interviewed on a top radio station in town about his work and the life journey that brought him to his role in this important organization.

Through this interview, I gained an even more vivid picture of his life and his fundamental purpose to make a positive difference in the lives of others within his communities.

EXERCISE:

What is your life purpose?

How do you currently contribute and make life less difficult for others?

What additional efforts can and will you take to more fully realize an even greater purpose with your life?

Who needs me on my ‘A Game’ the most right now

“Who needs me on my ‘A Game’ the most right now?”

—Brendon Burchard, High Performance Author

Image of a boy with an A+ paper

Image from verywellfamily

Brendon Burchard is a best-selling author and one of the world’s leading High Performance coaches. His latest book, High Performance Habits, was one of Amazon’s top three best business and leadership books of 2017.

Today’s quote hits home for me personally and professionally. Throughout my life I’ve observed that most everyone desires and is committed to contributing to others. This focus seems to be universally required to live a full and meaningful life.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently operating well below your “A” game and fullest potential?

Who specifically in your world needs you at your very best?

What specific efforts are required to make this level of contribution?

Good People Bring out the Good in People

“Good people bring out the good in people.”

—Author Unknown

The United States prison system holds more incarcerated felons than any other country in the world. Unfortunately, the efforts at rehabilitation have been very poor, with over 70 percent of those released returning to prison.

In the last few weeks, I read a book titled A Second Chance by Catherine Hoke. In her remarkable Defy Ventures programs, some of the most violent criminals are given a second chance to lead productive, contributory lives by discovering their “generous hustle.”

Ninety-five percent of those who graduate from this program never return to prison, because the good in many people, like Catherine, brought out the good in them.

EXERCISE:

Where do you or others deserve a second chance to rise above and beyond mistakes of the past? Where can the good in you and others bring out the very best in one another?

Absorb What is Useful

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.”

—Bruce Lee, 20th Century American Actor & Martial Artist

Image of a man capturing an idea in a net

Image from TED Ideas

Are you an artist, writer, or creator of some other form of content? If so, be prepared to be ripped off, pick-pocketed, and have your work stolen.

Unless you have been hiding your work under a rock or inside a mattress, you have shared it with others. If it is remarkable, or even just good, others will take it for themselves and hopefully build on it.

Protectionism, including trademarks, copyrights, and patents have their place. But with the world of increasing transparency and information just a click away, it won’t be long before someone reverse engineers or tweaks your ideas and makes them their own for a minute or two.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add your own unique ideas to contribute to and stand on the shoulder of those who came before you?

How might you coach and mentor others coming up the ranks, to more intentionally support their development and contribution?

Life is a bank account

“Business and life are like a bank account. You can’t take out more than you put in.”

—William Feather, 20th Century American Writer and Publisher

image of a piggy bank with a gas meter on it

Image from Stevemgus.com

When you were little did you have a piggy bank in which to save for that special something you desired? Did you have chores or another way of investing efforts to earn more and add more to your small fortune?

When I entered school we were all encouraged to start a savings account. We would grow our tidy sums with the promise of a bonus—called “interest”—that would add even more.

Today, most of us contribute to our IRAs, 401Ks, and other investment vehicles, in order to grow our net worth and provide the financial security and independence we all desire.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you invest your personal and professional efforts to reap the compounded interest of a life focused on giving and contributing to others?