How will you know if you have succeeded in Life? How do you keep score? Do you believe you have an obligation to give back so others can have the same opportunities as you? Why are we here? What is your purpose in life? We’re not immortal – we won’t live on this earth forever. What legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered?
I must admit I hadn’t given much thought to any of those questions until I read President Bill Clinton’s latest book, “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World”. Clinton’s main premise is that we can all give in our own way. He’s right. It doesn’t have to be money. It can be something far more valuable than money, something even more precious than gold – something that will outlast our lifetime: We can give ourselves. We can donate our time.
“Try not to become a person of success – but try to become a person of value”
Be a Mentor: – A mentor is a wise or trusted advisor or guide. Do you know someone who is just starting out in his or her career? Someone you could build a relationship with – who could trust and confide in you? Someone who would benefit from your years of experience?
Be a Coach: – A coach is defined as a trainer or instructor; someone who coaches or instructs a pupil. Teach someone else what you know. Coach them. Most often we equate coaching with athletics. But coaching can also mean working with Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, or with your local Boys and Girls Club.
Be a Volunteer: – A volunteer is a person who freely offers oneself or one’s services for an undertaking without expecting compensation or anything else in return. You and I may not have the financial resources of a Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey or Warren Buffet, but we can volunteer our time. It may only be an hour or two a week, or five hours per month, but spending time working for a non-profit organization may be the greatest gift you can give. Go to your local hospital, long-term care facility, or retirement home and lend a hand. If volunteering with an organization is not your thing, then start your own volunteer group.
Be an Advocate of Change: – Don’t be satisfied with the “same old, same old”. You have the power within you to decide if you want to maintain the status quo – or draw a line in the sand and do what you feel is right. Stand up for what you believe in. Be an advocate of change. Be that change you’d like to see in the World. What are your enduring principles? What are your core values? What will you not compromise, no matter the circumstance, no matter the outcome? Do you believe in honesty? Integrity? Loyalty? Being true to yourself? Will you sit idly by witnessing injustices, or will you stand up and come to the aid of those in need? Will you help tear down those walls of ignorance and build a bridge to understanding?
“Real riches are the riches possessed inside.” – Bertie Charles Forbes
Living a life of purpose is a choice that only you can make. Choose wisely. Do what you think is right. Leave a legacy by turning your values into every day actions.