“It is very sad to me that some people are so intent on leaving their mark on the world that they don’t care if that mark is a scar.”

“It is very sad to me that some people are so intent on leaving their mark on the world that they don’t care if that mark is a scar.”

—John Michael Green, American Author of Looking for Alaska

What constitutes a good day? What are the foundations of a good life? Where do you look when considering such questions?

Luckily, the research on such matters is extensive. Virtually all sources agree that having purpose and making a positive difference in the lives of others is fundamental.

In his book, Give and Take, Adam Grant points to the fact that giving and contributing to others and society provides both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. The book, The Five Love Languages, points to the ways we and others in our world demonstrate love for each other, through simple daily acts of generosity and care.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you make an even bigger and more positive mark on your world? How and in what ways can you encourage and support others in your various communities to do the same?

Friday Review: Purpose

FRIDAY REVIEW: PURPOSE

How in tune are you to your own life purpose? Here are a few purpose-related posts you may have missed.

 

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

 

 

 

“Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves.”

 

 

 

 

“Care and Diligence bring luck.”

“Care and Diligence bring luck.”

—Thomas Fuller, 17th Century English historian

We have all heard the phrase, The harder you work the luckier you get.

A question to consider related to this premise is: What causes some of us to work with such diligence?

Perhaps it is the idea of truly caring for something or someone that brings forth our very best and most determined efforts.

Research stated in Dan Pink’s book, Drive, confirms the importance of purpose and meaning as fundamental to what literally drives us forward.

EXERCISE:

How can you dramatically increase you own luck by bringing forth your most caring and diligent efforts in your personal and professional worlds?

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?

You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make

“You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

—Jane Goodall, English primatologist and anthropologist

Image of Jane Goodall with a chimp

Image from NeverApart

Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.

Her 50-something years work in conservation and animal welfare issues was acknowledged in 2002, when she was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Jane’s life work has been captured in dozens of books, and her many documentaries. There is even a 2002 TED talk about what separates us from chimpanzees. In it, she joyfully entertained the audience with her passion, authenticity, and purposeful adventures.

EXERCISE:

What purposeful difference have, can you, and will you make in your various communities? What would you like people to say upon your passing, to acknowledge and celebrate your contribution to the world?

Talents and Deep Gladness

“At what point do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s deep need?”

Frederick Buechner, American writer & theologian

Aerial view of tropical rainforest with converging rivers, Guyana

Image from thefatherhoodcomission

Imagine two great rivers flowing from their source high in the mountains, where ice and snow melt into the purest waters possible. The names of these rivers happen to be “My Talents,” and “Deep Gladness.”

Many miles away, where the two rivers converge, is the ocean of “What the world needs most,” and the resulting delta could be the Island of Happiness, Fulfillment, and Life Purpose.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you best channel the naturally flowing aspects of your talents and deep gladness to generously contribute to the world’s deepest needs?

The Purpose of the Call

“Before picking up the phone, pause for a moment and think about the purpose of the call.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hand holding a smartphone

Image from Unsplash

How many business meetings do you attend on a daily basis? If you gave each a grade of A, B, or C, or rated them from 1-10 with 10 being outstanding, how would they score?

If you are like many professionals, dissatisfying meetings can be the bane of your work days. Books and other resources on this topic abound, many of which I encourage you to explore.

Consider, too, that we all have more meetings than we think—we call them phone calls. In many cases, we don’t prepare for them half as well as our sub-optimal face-to-face meetings.

EXERCISE:

Today, and in the weeks ahead, make a microresolution to use the phrase the reason for my call is… and see if the clarity of purpose improves the value and outcomes of your conversations.

Follow that Dream

“Follow that Dream!”

-Author Unknown

Image from nnbtheatre.com

Image from nnbtheatre.com

I was a young boy in the mid-sixties when Man of La Mancha was on Broadway. My mother, Rose, loved the story about Don Quixote, and loved to sing “The Impossible Dream.” Here are the lyrics, written by American lyricist Joe Darian:

To dream the impossible dream
to fight the unbeatable foe
to bear with unbearable sorrow
to run where the brave dare not go

to right the unrightable wrong
to love pure and chaste from afar
to try when your arms are too weary
to reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star,
no matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
to fight for the right, without question or pause
to be willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause.

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest,
that my heart will lie peaceful and calm,
when I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this:
that one man, scorned and covered with scars,
still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
to reach the unreachable star.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life is it time for you to follow your dream, be true to your own “glorious quest,” and help the world be better because of it?

Lose Yourself in Service

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Independence Leader

Image from blog.bcwinstitute.org

Image from blog.bcwinstitute.org

We’ve all heard statements such as “givers gain,” and “shift your life from success to significance.”

But how do we do it?

Today’s quote challenges us to lose ourselves in a good way, to find our flow and purpose, what we might call our true north.

When I ‘give,’ I grow and feel I’m living a more expansive and true life. When I ‘get,’ I feel good too, but it’s not the same experience or at the same level.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you serve others so that you both lose and find yourself in the experience?

“The will to win, the desire…”

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

—Author Unknown

Image from blog.builddirect.com

Image from blog.builddirect.com

Every two years the athletes of the world come together to participate in either the summer or winter Olympic Games. There is perhaps no other global spectacle that demonstrates the will to win, the desire to succeed, and the urge for these special athletes to realize their potential.

Few of us have ever competed on a profession or Olympic level in sports. Each of us, however, plays and competes each and every day in the game of life, in which professional and/or personal success is the goal.

EXERCISE:

What would a “Gold Medal Life” look like to you? How would establishing this goal in your heart and mind foster greater will and desire to more fully unlock your doors to personal excellence?