August 13, 2004
How do we make a difference in this life?
How do we make a difference in this life?
Each of us is faced with a limited amount of time each day, and our physical life-span is limited. We donít even know for sure if weíll be alive tomorrow. Some people take the attitude, ďYes, life is short so the objective is to get as much fun, pleasure and comfort as we can for ourselves.Ē Yet some people see the futility of that and look for a deeper purpose or meaning to their existence. ďYes, I have limited time so how best can I use it to make a difference in life?Ē
So here is a checklist of some ways to make a difference in life (Though not a complete list, itís a good start. Please Add your own)
1. Listen. Everyone wants to be heard. When we take the time to listen to others, we are making a difference in their lives. Almost all of my friends that I hang out with are good listeners. I try to be also. Sometimes when we find someone who is a good listener, we find ourselves blurting out our most intimate struggles and dreams. Itís like popping the top of a bottle of soda after shaking it vigorously. Being a good listener involves trust. We trust those that listen to us to not stomp on us. Thatís part of the deal. Good listeners have to be trustworthy with our hearts. We are told to love others as ourselves. This is a good way to do that.
2. Whatever you do in life, give it your best shot. By doing our best at everything we do, we are making a difference in that activity or situation. No-one can ask for anything more than we are able to give. Too often though we donít know what our potential is because we donít give things our best effort. I worked in a shoe store when I was younger and did not really put in a full effort all the time. It was kind of a meaningless job to me then. But I was doing it to pay bills while I went to school. I didnít always do my best and it often showed in the quality of my work. The best we can do depends a lot on our attitude. We have to care.
3. Have values and stick to them. We all decide who we are and what we stand for. Values help us with all of our choices in life. Being unclear on our values often gets us and others into more suffering in life. Anyone can follow along with others just because itís cool and temporarily lose our values, but it takes a special person to know who they are and what they stand for and walks the talk all the time. These people clear paths through the thick jungle of society.
4. Have hope and give hope. Be someone that adds to life not takes it away. Having hope, we tend to be unstoppable, and we find solutions to the problems in life. Giving hope to others is lifting them up. Itís something we all want to have but when the going gets rough we often sink into despair. We could use a helping hand and a positive voice. So do others who are in the same situation.
5. Live with intention. We all make choices every day whether consciously or subconsciously. To make a difference in life itís better to be awake for it and live with purpose. This involves knowing ourselves and understanding why we do what we do. Itís not easy all the time, because we play mind games with ourselves and deceive ourselves. Often this leads to difficulties in life because we are not being honest with ourselves. Being aware of who we are, what our purpose is, what we are capable of and what our values are all help us to live with intention.
Making a difference in life is a very personal thing. Each person is essentially the same in that we are all in life together, we are all connected spirits and we are all loved equally by God, but at the same time we are all unique and have special talents, gifts and resources. What we do with them is up to us.
My hope and prayer for everyone is that they live fulfilling, meaningful lives with purpose and love. When we do live like this we are making a difference in this life. Our time is not wasted.
Posted by carl1236 at August 13, 2004 10:07 PM
Posted by: cliff at August 24, 2005 8:55 PM
Thanks for the comment Cliff. Reading is good. I'll add that reading is not enough by itself. Reading, understanding, taking to heart and applying what we learn to life is important to making a difference.
Posted by: John at August 24, 2005 11:06 PM