My journey didn't really begin until I decided I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. I vividly remember the day I became conscious of that desire.
My mom was a constant encourager. She truly loved people, and wanted to help them. People would stop her and express their gratitude towards her, and little things she had done for them in silence and behind the scenes. Her focus was on encouraging each and every person. She would lift others higher than they could lift themselves. When I saw what that did for other people, I knew I wanted to provide that same gift to people as well. I remember thinking: "I want to be like my her. I want to help people too."
This is where my desire to make a difference was birthed. You don't have to be a big person to have a big idea. Something sparked inside me that day, and I believed I had the ability to touch people's hearts in the same way my mom did.
You're going to make a great difference.
We have to be willing to start small. I believe we all have a longing to make an impact, to make a difference, to be a part of something noble and purposeful, and to make a contribution. We need to be able to focus on others and give of ourselves. If has to be guided by the desire to help others, and to do not them what they perhaps can't do by themselves.
Many people look at all the wrong in the world and mistakenly believe that they cannot make a difference. The challenges loom large, and they feel small. And they think they must do big things to have a life that matters. Or they feel like they have to wait until they reach a certain place in life in order to do something significant.
Does that seed of doubt exist in you? Do you tell yourself, "I will only be able to make a difference when. . . I come up with a really big idea...get to a certain age...reach a specific milestone...make enough money...I'm famous or retire."?
Now of these is necessary before you start to create impact.
You may not realize it, but those hesitations are nothing more than excuses. The only thing you need to achieve impact is to be intentional about starting. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you have.
You can't make an impact sitting still.
Legendary NFL Coach Tony Dungy said, "do the ordinary things better than everyone else, and you will achieve excellence."
The same is true for impact. Begin by doing ordinary things. Everything big that has ever been done started with a first step. You can't get anywhere in life without taking that first baby step. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard, but you have to do if if you want to achieve big things. You never know when something small that you do for others is going to expand into something big.
Ideas and initiatives can spread quickly, like germs do. That's why they call it "going viral". Take, Chris Kennedy for example. He was a golfer from Florida. And in 2014 a friend nominated him to do the ice bucket challenge for the charity of his choice. Chris challenged Janette, his wife's cousin, because they liked to tease and challenge each other, and he chose ALS as his charity, because her husband suffered from that disease. Janette accepted the challenge, posted it on her facebook page, and nominated others. It was the small start of something big. The challenge soon went viral. And if you somehow missed out on it, you could either donate to the ALS association, record a video of yourself being drenched in ice water, and challenge 3 other people to donate or get drenched. It became a brilliant fundraiser. As a result, $113M was donated between July and September of 2014, compared to just $2.7M donated the same time the year before. Not only did this quirky idea raise money, but it raised awareness. And it accomplished both with intentional action.
It starts as a single idea, a bold statement, a youtube video, a creative or memorable photo. A small step can gain popularity and quickly spread.
Take your small step today.