As a changemaker, what is it you’re going to do today, and as a consequence, what’s the outcome you’re going to get today, that makes the people around you celebrate your presence in their life?
How do you measure your impact?
What will it take for you to show up, today, in such a way that by the end of today you know you showed up better than yesterday?
Because creating change and having a positive impact needs to be tangible for it to have any meaning.
A teaching my mentors shared with me a long time ago was to look for signs that reflect the changes I’m after. Whether that is a change within me, or a change within others.
They taught me that my outer success reflects my inner success.
If I don’t see outer success, I know the inside hasn’t changed enough. Yet.
They instilled in me to embrace the power of results.
The invitation is there for you at the end of the day to ask yourself "how did I do today?" And perhaps you can then write down 4 things that bliss you out. Four things that leave you a bit breathless with what you have accomplished!
And those can be big things, and also simple, yet significant things… if you can recognise them as such…
If you know someone is breathing a little bit easier because they have spent time with you today … how wonderful is that?
Perhaps you’ve thanked and acknowledged someone who made a difference to your life and the fact that you did so meant the world to them. It’s so important not to be silent about thanking people.
Once you know the power of it you’ll want to thank and appreciate people every day.
Another foundational principle I’ve been taught is that when you don’t include others in your planning and in your life you won’t have access to the energy that is needed for impactful change.
You can’t have a great plan all by yourself! When you create your vision, your goals and plans, include people in it!
Therefore it is important to shift our character so that we become the type of person who attracts people.
As Rama Krishna said - When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.
One of the quickest ways to transform ourselves that I know is that of generosity and selflessness.
So, set more and more selfless goals.
Be quick to give, be quick to give thanks and be quick to acknowledge people as it is a reflection of your sense of self-esteem and sense of fulfilment.
You’ve got to be prepared, though. You can’t give unless you’ve prepared things to give.
Planning to give is therefore useful!
When I work with my coaching clients or students one of the first things I get them to do is to start giving gifts, every day.
At the beginning they experience a lot of enthusiasm as they go about their ‘homework’ so to speak.
But after a little while they need to get more creative.
They need to find out the other’s needs by becoming genuinely interested in them. What are the dreams, goals and aspirations of the people around them.
They need to communicate with people and develop the skills of how to give the right thing, at the right time, in the right way to the right people.
Sometimes it is as simple as making someone else a cup of tea. Sometimes it is really listening to someone with full presence and attention. That can be a gift.
Over time they learn the joy that comes from selfless unconditional giving.
In fact, my teacher’s mother used to say that love is what you experience, when you give.
So give and get into the practice of giving as it’s such a tool of transformation for yourself as well as for others!
If you are not doing it today, you are practising not doing it!
It is in the moment of your decisions that your destiny is shaped.
In order to engage with these principles you have to practice giving. There needs to be a consistency to it so that it becomes second nature and you’re able to give even in challenging circumstances when your act of kindness and generosity can often have the most transformative impact.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy.