Sometimes you need to look back to move forward. Looking back in history we uncover how people connected on the basis of their shared values and ideas. When they connected they started communities, companies, revolutions – they made a difference. What about BIG differences today?
Do you want to begin making a difference ?. Someone who has already made a huge difference is Seth Godin. Seth is an entrepreneur and the most popular business blogger in the world. He makes some profound observations about marketing ideas in this digital age. He often tells people “Go make a difference”. I wonder how to make big changes first in myself, then in people around me. All leadership starts with self, then leading others.
There are probably some things you believe in. We all have dreams, passions and desires. But how do you lead others to believe in your hobby, interest, business, or cause? William James said “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
Here is something that I have sought, received and yet cannot measure – it’s validation. We seek it in many areas of life. We long for our parents, business partners, friends, colleagues and even our kids to say – “You matter!”
Men and women of great minds and those of absolutely average minds have all wrestled with the same question, ‘do I matter’? Sadly the answer to this question and the wrestling to the answer have brought some people to a state of desperation and depression. I reflect on my own parents and grandparents wondering what difference did they make? What difference will I make? Where’s the hope for this part of our story?
If you have been to an art gallery, museum or places of historical significance you will often discover the stories of the average person doing extraordinary things. It’s only from the perspective of time that we know if, the decisions we make and the action we take, make a difference to others. Perhaps these “others” are yet unborn. We cannot realize ALL the implications our decisions and actions in the moment. Only in the future, do we gain perspective but sometimes we never know.
Leaders lead by example. Remember the old saying, “more is caught than taught?” Well now is your time to shine and lead by example!
Often I find myself wondering how to respond to pictures of the poor on magazine covers. When I’m at the gym, watching one of five TV screens, I often see videos of the poor and I feel guilty. Why was I blessed to be born in such a wealthy country? What could I do to help? Then I’ll grab a bottle of fresh water, rehydrate myself and forget my good intentions.
Most of us take clean drinking water for granted, yet over 1 billion people in the world still lack access to clean, safe water. Children are weak and sick. There is a constant struggle to find the most basic of human needs. The lack of safe water worldwide is a crisis. It steals the lives of 5,500 people each day. More than war, natural disasters, AIDS or hunger. Much to our shame, this rarely makes headlines. It is today’s silent killer.
Stop right there! That’s the place where together we can make a big difference. There is a simple guilt-free solution!