The Signature of your Life

Tue. October 23, 2007 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

Have you ever thought about the signature of your life? That is to say, what does your life say about you? Often times when I'm out and about people will refer to me as that " Make A Difference Guy". To be honest, I like that a lot! If that is what my life says to them; I'm glad. Often times I wonder what else my life says. Come on, haven't you ever wondered what people think of when they think of you? Perhaps it's time to orchestrate that a bit.

When I was much younger a mentor challenged me to this way of thinking. "Bill, what is the signature of your life?" he would ask. At the time, I was too young to fully understand that question. My young friend Ronnie Kroell has been someone whom I've seen really takes this idea and runs with it. Somewhere in his life he was impacted to reach out to the community he lives in with the idea of "Bridging Diversity". I've seen very few people his age with such conviction and passion to Make A Difference ! I think we can learn a thing or two from him and others like him.

Stop and reflect on what you're good at being/doing . If you know that you are a leader, than lead! It's as simple as that. I'm sure that your friends have told you what you do well. Act on that! Have you heard time and time again that you're a good cook? Well then perhaps you can cook for others or teach people how to cook. Maybe you've been told that you're a great host. Throw a party! Perhaps people have given you kudos on being a good writer. Write a book. Let those talents you have be your signature and impact those around you !

Ask your family and closest friends what they think your signature is . Your best friends know you very well. They will be a great guide to you on this quest. Not long ago I was talking with one of my best friends and there came a moment where I realized that he needed to find what his life's signature was. I asked him if he had ever thought about what his signature in life was. He hadn't. It was a moment where we both understood that finding that out was a good next step for him. As his friend, it's my pleasure to help him! I can tell him what he's good at AND what he's not good at. I can remind him about times and events where he showed great courage and strength. Perhaps in those we can find his signature.

I recall a time where I called my Mom at a point of personal frustration. I couldn't understand why it was I was doing some things so intensely. Her calm voice reminded me that I had been in this place in my life before. She actually recited moments in my life that I had totally forgotten about; showing me that I am the way I am for those reasons. Her knowledge of me helped me to refocus my direction . Only Family and friends can do that for you!

Create your own mission statement . If you have the desire to impact your world; developing your life's signature or mission is very important! In Steven Covey's book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People he suggests this idea. I can say from personal experience that this is one great step to take! Spend an afternoon and write out what you think would be a good mission statement for your life. Edit it, think about it, and re-write it. Keep in mind that brevity is a good thing.

My personal mission statement is just three words: LIVE TO GIVE . I developed that in the early nineties and it has served me well. In fact, it is what prompted me to develop the Make A Difference philosophy that I am now known for. What is your mission statement? If you've got one, could that be a part of your signature?

My friend Ronnie has taken his mission and made it his signature. Just ask anyone who knows him, he is almost possessed with the task of "Bridging Diversity" and yet if you ask him, he would most likely say to you that he's just doing what he enjoys doing. Something I admire about him!