DIFFERENCE IN YOU: How Do I Make A Difference?

Thu. August 30, 2007 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

I get asked all the time what it takes to Make A Difference . I'd say half the people who ask me are joking with me or pulling my leg to see what I will say. I know to some I come across as being somewhat corny with the whole "Make A Difference" platform. But hey, with all the destructive messages we have being thrown at us on a daily basis I feel like the mission to make a difference is a good one! I think that people genuinely want to impact the world around them; they just don't know what it is that they can do to reach that goal.

I am one to think making a difference is more about "being" than "doing" to make the most effective impact. Of course one does need to take action as well! May I suggest that you have a notepad and pen handy as you read this article? It may help in finding out what you can do to make a difference.

Look at what you're gifted in and use that to impact your surroundings . I think this makes great sense. If you are good at sports, then it stands to reason that you would be good at reaching people in that arena. Perhaps you are a shy person who excels at writing. You could author web-logs or articles that could inspire! Maybe if you're a walking mouth like me; you could join a charitable organization. In short, there are countless ways to use your personal gifts for something positive ! If you have not figured out what those talents are then I suggest that you write that on your to do list? Ask your family and friends what they think your gifts are. They should know you enough to be able to tell you.

Make a daily choice to "be" that person who wants to Make A Difference ! I truly think that this is a decision that needs to be made constantly throughout the day. Its one thing to say it to your friends and loved ones, but it's another thing to "be" a Difference Maker when no ones looking. Or to "be" a person who impacts the unlovable. When given the split second chance to choose; what would you decide to be? If you pre-choose to "be" someone that makes a difference in this world (Or your corner of if) then you will be ready when the time is right.

Make daily movement to accomplish positive change !
In my opinion this world of ours need a swift kick in the buns to get them to move into action! There are countless people who could use a helping hand! Allow me to list a few: Students, Elderly, Homeless, and Low-income families. I know that we all have our problems but I have always found that my problems seem so insignificant in comparison to others. That's not to say that we should ignore our issues; rather our helping others often helps us to see our problems and issues in a different light.

Be an "Actor" not a "Reactor" . I encourage this because I have observed that many fail to impact others simply because of the bitterness in their lives. Let's face it, bad stuff happens to good people. We've all had our share of bad things happen to us. Nobody is immune to that. There is, however, serious power in forgiving a situation and moving on.

Sure, you could react to a situation, but perhaps you could act on it instead! I know in some cases it is difficult to forgive someone if they've hurt you. I think its' good to remember that forgiveness is NOT indicating that what happened to you is okay; rather forgiveness says that you are acting on the situation, learning from it, and giving yourself permission to move on.

I was talking with a close friend of mine not to long ago and she told me about her rough childhood and how mad she was mad at her family. I asked her, "Is this bitterness that you have making you feel better?". There was silence on the phone. I think that she realized that her lack of forgiveness was only hurting her and not her family. Again, it must be said that we shouldn't drop the painful issues we have in a "forgive and forget" manor. Most likely we will not forget the bad things that have happened to us. It is our choice rather to respond with positive actions.

Finally, I'd like to challenge you to set a target to influence . Often folks don't impact situations because they've not planed for it. In many cases it's the small steps or tiny actions over a course of time that makes a difference in others or in situations.

For example, being a consistent friend to someone can be an impact. That won't happen over night. You've got to call, text, email, and hangout with them on a consistent basis. It takes effort to model your love and care for someone before they allow you to mold their lives. That effort requires you to think ahead of time. In my life I've got a group of people that I am always focused on. Every day I take a moment to check in with them, listen to them and let them know I'm here for them. Most of the time the daily connection is no big deal; it does however build a foundation to be there for them in a time of need. That makes a difference!

Perhaps you can take some time today and write out your gifting. Put down what items you can be/do on a daily basis that will impact others. And finally, put to pen some target areas you would like to focus on in making a difference.

I believe you will find in making a difference; one will be made in you too !