It’s a weekday night, you get home from work, quickly make yourself some dinner or maybe order something from one of the many apps on your phone. After dinner you plop down on the couch and turn on your TV and say glued to Netflix or Prime until it’s time to head to bed. Does that sound familiar?
Maybe that’s even what you did last night? Don’t worry this is a judgement free zone. Do you ever find yourself wondering and yet so powerfully certain at the same time that, “There’s got to be something more than this.” I for one know from firsthand experience that there is more to life than this.
I was always the guy who was looking for a way to change a life and give back ever since I was little. I’ve always opted for volunteering with different organizations as my way to make a difference, but there are so many unique ways that you can positively impact those around you. And you know what? Not only does helping someone else out make a difference in someone else’s life, but it also makes a difference in your own life.
Taking the time to think about others, volunteering our time, helping someone with their groceries or however else we might do it, has an immense impact on our overall happiness and fulfillment in our own lives. You are not alone with this feeling to make a difference. In fact, so many people have a desire to make a difference that Match.com even decided to add it as one of the only 20 “Bucket List” options you can choose from that they have singles fill out when they first complete their dating profile.
We all have a desire to be seen, to be valued, and to be heard, truly heard. In most cases when we spend time helping others or volunteering with an organization we not only feel good on the inside, but we feel valued by the organization or by the person we are helping. We feel like we matter. We ALL have a desire to feel like we matter in this 7.5 billion people packed world and making a difference, makes us feel like we matter. It makes us feel validated. It makes us feel like we are important.
No matter where we are in our life, no matter what type of schedule we currently have, there is always a way to make a difference in somebody’s life.
Here is my three step process that I am so excited to share with you about how you can intentionally start to make a positive difference in someone’s life today.
Three steps to making a difference:
- Define what making a difference means to you. This is the first step because you want to be intentional in your approach. There’s no use volunteering where your best friend does if it doesn’t light you up inside. It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to others even when it comes to doing good in the world and giving back, but try your best not to play the comparison game. Define what making a difference means to you in the current season of life you are in and don’t mind what your neighbor or friend has going on.
- How can you uniquely contribute? What are the strengths you have? Maybe it’s a personality trait that makes you naturally really great at taking care of dogs, playing with kids, or playing card games with the elderly. Evaluate what you know to be true about yourself and what you enjoy doing. Think about what you feel like you have been called to do in this world. Is there a specific role that you want to play in giving back and making a difference?
- Do what you want to do. Do you like helping out in groups or do you prefer to volunteer alone? Is there a passion project that you’ve been dying to start that would have positive impact on many lives? Is there a specific cause that you want to try to figure out how to get involved with? Think about what you want to do and why it means something to you. Many times the things that have meaning to us go so much deeper than that we want to make a difference. Try filling out the following sentence in helping you decide what your deeper meaning is.
“I want to do___________________ because of _____________________ and by doing this it will make me feel__________________________.”
I have shared the following poem before, but it is so apt here:
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, it’s up to you!