Every one of us can make a difference in this life. You don’t have to be perfect or special by any means, or come from a privileged background. A selfless, caring heart is all it takes to touch another soul and help them rise above the painful circumstances they are in. You can never tell what type of impact you may make on someone’s life by your actions or lack of action. We all should keep this in mind as we journey through life. God made each of us different so we can make a difference in this world and it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than what it was when we first entered it.
John F. Kennedy said “One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” The single heroic act of Rosa Parks was the beginning of a freedom movement for equality that changed our society. She showed us that one person just like you and I can make a difference. She had no idea that her actions would spread like a wild fire and have such a profound effect on our nation. You do not have to do something earth shattering to make a difference. It’s the little things that often have the greatest impact. A smile, a friendly word, a compliment, a helping hand, a sympathetic ear, these are the things that you can do every day and the only cost is that you care about people and do whatever you can to show them that they matter to you.
We rise when we lift up another person because they will undoubtedly share what you did for them and you will never know how many times that one thing you did will be repeated over and over again. You might not be able to help 100 people but you can help one person. People may forget what you said but they will remember how you made them feel. You are only one person but be the one who makes a difference and if you make a difference to one person then it is worth it.
Everything has a reason and a season. If there is ever a time for you to make a difference, it is now. It doesn’t matter where you came from or what you did; it’s more important where you are now and what you are currently doing. You have a contribution to make. You have a story only you can tell and someone desperately needs to hear how you overcame adversity. It will help them to not give up and believe that they can make it also. Choose to make a difference not only in your life but in the lives of others. Change your life from making a living to making a difference!
Living your best life is not defined by being rich, popular or highly educated. To me living your best life is about being real, being humble, being strong and taking the time to touch the lives of others. It also means that you are actually doing the things that make you happy and are doing the things that you always hoped that you would do. Doing what you like is freedom but enjoying what you do is happiness. People who are living their lives to the fullest first had a vision. Next, they formulated a plan to make that vision a reality. Then they committed themselves to working that plan. Being successful requires a true commitment because your desire to achieve your goal must outweighed every challenge and all negativity that you will face. At the same time, living your best life requires that you still find the time to take care of yourself, spend time with your family and keep up with your friends. Is this all difficult? Yes, but it is well worth it.
Living your best life also means that you are living a balanced life. Balance is a key part because only when your life is balanced will you be able to enjoy the journey you are on. You must nurture your mind, body and spirit to achieve ultimate results. To live your best life you must be willing to change, to grow, and to do what it takes to be the best person you can be. Being your best self often means doing things that are difficult and challenging. It is much easier to sit on a couch than to run a marathon. Breaking bad habits and creating good habits takes discipline and strength of character. We can build strength of character by challenging ourselves and doing things that other people consider difficult.
It takes courage to live your best life because you will find that it will be necessary to break old habits and make changes in your life. Those changes may include walking away from friendships that do not positively support your goals and vision. Be prepared to run into resistance from family and friends as they see the new you. Many times the people that don’t support you are the same ones that are not making an effort in their own lives so they prefer that the people around them remain stuck like they are. It takes courage and strength of character to not care what people think and to create the life you want while others are judging you.
Life is a one-way ticket. It is by experiencing every single opportunity that we find our destiny and live our best lives. So ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I living the life I want?
- Is that life the best life possible for me?
- Am I the best person I can be?
- Can I be stronger, kinder, more loving or more compassionate?
You decide, and if you are ready to take on a new challenge to live the best life you can, just do it! Fight through the bad days to enjoy your best days.
Do you want to be happy? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you should make it a habit to treat others how you want to be treated. To put it another way, what you do not want done to you, do not do to others. This Golden Rule principle applies not only to how you should treat people, but it also means to think about others the way you want to be thought of; feel about others the way you want others to feel about you and, finally, you should speak about others the same way you want to be spoken of. Luke 6:31 puts it this way “as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” This principle will not be easy to follow but imagine what this world would look like if this became a way of life for us all. Life is like an echo. What you send out will come back to you. What you sow you will reap. Choose to be the type of person who will treat others nicely even when others have not been nice to them.
Our actions speak louder than our words. Our lives are defined not only by what we say but also by what we do. Show empathy. Make it a habit to try to place yourself in the shoes of another person – your loved ones, co-workers, people you meet on the street. Try to understand what it is like to be them, what they are going through, and why they do what they do. Be compassionate. Once you can understand another person, and feel what they’re going through, ask yourself what you would want someone to do for you in that situation to ease your pain and then do it. Don’t procrastinate – just do it. There are many people who go out of their way to be helpful, but in general people have a tendency to keep to themselves and to ignore the problems of others. Don’t be blind to the needs and troubles of others. Look to help even before you’re asked.
Overcome prejudice regardless if it is based on skin color, attractiveness, height, age, gender, religion. See each person as an individual human being, with different backgrounds and needs and dreams. Focus on the things you have in common with that person despite your differences. Stop criticism. We all have a tendency to criticize others whether it’s people we know or people we see from day to day. Just ask yourself if you would like to be criticized if you were in that person’s situation. Give people the respect and dignity that you want to receive. Don’t be afraid to interact with others even though they may look a little different than you do or are accustomed to. The late Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Be careful how you treat people. The person you took for granted today just may turn out to be the person you will need tomorrow. Treating people the way you want to be treated fulfills the will of God. Make it hard for people not to want you in their life. This is happiness. What does this ‘golden rule’ mean for you?
It’s been said that if you pay attention to the darkness, you will never find the light. This is a wise saying. Some people see the positive in a situation, and others see only the negative. It all comes down to your point of view. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. It’s like looking at a glass that is half full of water. The pessimist will say ‘the water is almost gone’ but the optimist will say that ‘there is still a half of a glass of water left’. We spend too much time dwelling on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong instead of paying attention to the positive and good things we have. It’s imperative that we train ourselves to focus on thoughts that will move us forward in the right direction and avoid focusing on the negative.
Negativity is all around us and it will take time to uproot it. Many people fail to reach their goals because they focus on what hasn’t happened yet; whereas they should concentrate on expanding in the areas where they have seen success. Good things in life take time and you must be patient and visualize how you will feel once you achieve your goals. If we concentrate on what’s good, we’re likely to be encouraged and motivated. The problem, though, is how to focus on what’s positive in our lives when it’s so much easier to dwell on past mistakes and regrets. It’s more fun to work with people who are positive and are always striving for success as opposed to people who are always negative. No one wants to hear reasons why something won’t work. Make better use of your time by thinking of reasons how something will work. Positivity creates confidence and brings unity and support among people. Check the attitude you bring to the table and do not allow negative people and their negative thoughts hold you back or drag you down.
Being positive just doesn’t happen by saying, “I’m going to be positive.” You have to work at it. You have to find ways to get the negative things out of your life and align yourself with people who want to do big things while becoming a better person at the same time. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it. Focus on what is good and what is positive. There is so much in life you can’t control but your attitude is a choice that you make every day. You can choose to be happy regardless of your circumstances or you can choose to be negative filled with fear and despair. When you focus on your problems, you will have more problems, but when you focus on possibilities, you will see opportunities. Negative thinking will never make your life positive. Happiness is a result of a decision to be happy. Happy people understand that to enjoy life you must “live” it and not just “think” about it.
Make a decision to change your negative thinking into positive thoughts. For example, if you are worried and focusing on what could go wrong in a situation, change your thoughts to what could go right. The mind can only think one thought at a time; so changing the negative into a positive eliminates the negative. Make it a habit to only use positive words when you speak regardless of what you might be feeling. Choose words that generate strength and emphasize success. Before you become successful you must first believe that you are successful. Remind yourself daily that you have so much going for you. Believe in yourself and you will create a healthy and positive environment around you that others will want to become a part of. Positive thinking will not only make you better, but it will make those around you better.