One of Life’s Great Questions is “Will My Life Make A Difference?”
It is an important question because it generally reflects an early mile-marker on the road toward a life of meaning, significance, and purpose. Realistically, it is a road filled with character-building potholes and detours for all but the fortunate.
Asking the question is an indicator of getting beyond oneself and thinking about the well-being of others. Here’s the beginning of maturity.
Age is irrelevant because the desire to make a difference is an attitude of the heart.
The decision to make a difference with one’s life is a choice toward becoming a leader.
While a heroic act may have a defining element of difference-making and reveal strength of character in a moment, true difference-making is a way of life being lived in service.
2-Word Purpose Statements begin with a generic set-up of “I exist to serve by …” in order to help us realize that the flow and development of our “difference-making” capability and delivery matters as much over time as it does in a single act.
In fact, failing to act or to be the hero can be devastating to our psyche. Playing games of “what if” and “if only I had” are inevitable but ultimately counterproductive. Instead of being riddled with guilt or despair, prepare for the next moment, the next and the next to be difference-making in the best sense of the concept.
Over the years, many a person has told me, “At some point in my life, I figured I needed to make a change in my life. I’ve discovered that my purpose is to make a difference.” And they’re incompletely right.
While celebrating this important statement, I’ll ever so gently press and ask, “Have you considered how you are uniquely called to be a difference maker?” My hope is to move them toward a more specific understanding and depth of seeing their greater contribution in more precise terms.
Of course, the next logical question is, “How will I make a difference?”
When it comes to answering the question, here are three morsels of advice:
3. Your 2-word purpose provides the specifics to and uniqueness of your difference-making endeavor. Without it, you’re at a strategic and practical disadvantage.
Bonus Resource: Here’s an added resource to today’s topic. This is written by my friend and colleague, Tana Greene, CEO–CLO of Blue Bloodhound. Read her remarkable story in Inc. Magazine. Click the cover to purchase the book.