The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the normalcy of life has been unprecedented. Its havoc will be felt for years to come, and the changes it will leave in its wake, without question, will be of the scale of the World Wars or The Great Depression, if not greater. While there is no doubt that pandemics of such magnitude will negatively impact lives, there is another side of the coin that we shouldn’t miss, which is, out of this pandemic will come an opportunity to get better. Despite what’s happening now, the world will be better, nations will find innovative ways to their healthcare systems, and you and I, as individuals, can rise out of the current situation better than we got in. As we are doing our best to curb the spread of COVID-19, there is one thing that we all can do to make the best out of the uncertain times we live. We can choose a life of significance by doing things that make a difference in the life of others. Today’s post is a roadmap to show you how to achieve a life of significance at the opportune time we live in today.
A Call to Significance
I am not sure what you believe concerning the origin of man on earth. Whether you believe in the Big Bang Theory or like me, you believe that all creation was originated by God, one thing we can agree on is that man was not created to live an average life. I believe that we (humans) were created in the image and likeness of God. From this, I realize that my life has meaning and can be of significance. A life of significance is a call to live above average; It is to live our full potential by serving others. I am convinced that if you are reading this, you are living in the opportune time and have the opportunity to live above average. So, let’s dive in and see how we can move from ordinary or average to extraordinary or significant.
1. Desire to add value to others
The journey to a life of significance begins in the heart of a man who truly desires to add value to people. Adding value to others is the first step towards a life of impact. Without bringing value to the table of life, it’s impossible to realize your full potential for success. The level of value you bring determines the level of success. The good thing is that we all have the ability to bring value into the world if we realize one fact. Everyone you have ever interacted with has a that you can meet. Realizing this fact made me understand something else, that all around me there are opportunities to add value and I have the chance to take the first step of living a life of significance.
To live a life of adding value to others, I have been applying five principles I learned from Dr. John C. Maxwell, author of Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters, which are; first, I value people no matter who they are. Second, I think of ways to add value to the people I interact with. Third, I look for ways to add value to the people around me. Fourth, I do things that add value to people. Fifth. I encourage others to add value to people.
When it comes to things I can do that brings value every day to others, I am guided by the acronym T.E.S, which stands for Teach, where I ask myself what have I learned or still learning that’s valuable that I can teach someone else. Encouragement, where I ask myself who is one person, I can encourage to achieve their goals. Support, where I ask myself in whom can I invest my time and resources to assure their success. T.E.S has allowed me to discover the second step to living a life of significance, which is a make-a-difference mindset.
2. Make-a-difference mindset
A make-a-difference mindset is what transcribes from your heart through the desire to add value to others and find actionable things you can do to fulfill those desires. Make-a-difference mindset is about filling your mind with thoughts of possibilities. It’s about intentionally dwelling on thoughts that are positive and promises a positive outcome and it always looks for solutions.
Three things will determine if you will have a make-a-difference mindset or not. Your faith, food, and fellowship. Your faith is about what you believe. If you believe in the impossible possibilities, your faith will be great and that will positively impact your mindset. Your food is about what you feed your soul, spirit, and your body. Choose the highest quality food to feed those three areas of your being. Finally, your fellowship is about the company you keep. Your friends, the books you read, and what you listen to, will have a positive or negative impact on your mindset.
Armed with a make-a-difference mindset, you are able to possess a first responder and second-miler attitude that repels people who choose to live an average life. This attitude is the third step of significant living.
3. First responder and Second-miler attitude
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it’s easier to see this kind of attitude. While it’s easier to think about the firemen/women, the emergency medical team, and the police force as the first responders, it might not be so obvious to see this attitude in some people who in history we might consider significant. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, or Mother Teresa possessed the first responder-second-miler attitude. If you study their lives you will see that they all showed up first and went the extra mile. Even when you evaluate the people in your life who made a great positive difference in your life, you will see this attitude in them. For me, I have seen it in my parents, my friend David who has helped me become a better person for the last thirteen years, and in my pastor at my local church. This attitude is only possible when we become selfless. The greatest outcome of this attitude is that it makes us do the impossible in servicing others by producing in us what I refer to as the rubber-band ability.
4. Rubber-band ability
The fourth and final thing that constitutes living a significant life is having a rubber-band ability. This is the ability to make things happen when you have to be stretched. As the name suggests, you stretch yourself to come through for others. This ability is possible when the first three items we have covered, desire to add value to people, make-a-difference mindset, and a first-responder-second-miler attitude, have become part of your DNA. I don’t have a trick for you to do to have this ability other than practicing the first three. I can promise you though, once you start practicing them, this ability will become natural in you.
Next week I will share with you some of the hindrances to living a significant life and how to overcome them. But before then I have a question for you to ponder on. What would life look like for you when you start living a life of significance? Answering this question will help you have a vision of life above where you’re today. Try it.