Barring some unforeseen longevity, I won't be around in fifty years. Who knows, I may not make it 'til tomorrow. As morbid as it is to ponder, someday I’ll join the great majority. My last breath will usher in lost opportunities to interact with my family and friends, and my relationships with acquaintances will come to a halt like a plant that succumbs to a hard freeze before it flowers. In this body, I’ll never meet the people I’ve never met, see the things I've never seen, or get another chance at a missed opportunity.
Statistically speaking, I'm playing out the third quarter of my life. Half-time is over and I am thinking more about the end of the game than I did in the first two quarters. What is my purpose here and am I fulfilling it? Will my life have an impact beyond my physical existence on Earth? Will my kids and future grandchildren know the depths of my being like I want to know the innermost thoughts of my ancestors? I have things to learn, people to connect with and a hand to lend. Whether I have two days or 40 more years to live, I don't want to dribble the ball across half court, put my hand on my hip, and bounce the ball until the clock counts down to zero.
At the core of each of us is a desire to make a difference. Maybe you are the next Einstein, J.K. Rowling or Oprah. Or, perhaps you will spark hope and courage in someone like Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, or Elvis. You might find purpose in the work you do from 9-5 or maybe you fulfill your potential through selflessness, kindness and generosity. For some of you, your children have learned or will learn to live with deep character because of your guidance. Maybe you recycle and encourage others to do the same, or you rescue animals that are suffering. None of these roles is better than the other. We are all difference makers.
I will not be the person to cure cancer and I'm well past my prime to make an impact as a decorated athlete. Still, I have many opportunities to make a difference. I can do so as a parent, a friend, or sharing my resources. I am also fortunate to work in a helping profession. I truly enjoy assisting people in their quest to get healthier and manage their weight. Why? When a client of mine improves their health, they increase their potential as a difference maker.
Each day patients let me into their world and share parts of themselves that they really don't like. Thanks to all of you--you are brave! For those of you I will never meet face to face, I hope to write something you may use. Maybe I can plant a seed or water one, or perhaps what I write may give you a nudge in the right direction. Everything I have ever accomplished has been inspired, supported or at least partly motivated by an interaction with someone else. I hope I can always remember to at least try to pass this along to others.