‘Life asks of every individual a contribution, and it is up to that individual to discover what it should be.’ Viktor Frankl
To discover what our contribution should be often requires struggle, and many of us wish that the road could be that much easier.
But Earl Nightingale – known as the ‘Dean of Personal Development’ – some years ago, when he visited my homeland’s shores – the magnificent Great Barrier Reef – he noticed that the coral polyps on the inside of the reef, where the sea was tranquil and quiet in the lagoon, appeared pale and lifeless…while the coral on the outside of the reef, subject to the surge of the tide and power of the waves, were bright and vibrant with splendid colors and flowing growth….Earl Nightingale asked his guide why this was so.
‘It’s very simple,’ came the reply, ‘the coral on the lagoon-side dies rapidly with no challenge for growth and survival…while the coral facing the surge and power of the open sea, thrives and multiplies because it is challenged and tested every day. And so it is with every living organism on earth.’ (The Psychology of Winning – Dr. Denis Waitley)
Here are three ways to discover your lifetime contribution.
1. Embrace Life’s Challenges
Don’t run from them. Don’t despise them. Embrace them.
We all face challenges throughout our lifetime. None of us are immune.
They can be financial, emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental in nature. It’s not the challenges we face that form us, but rather how we respond to them.
Stop blaming your past for your present. Accept the facts that you do have a past that has brought you to the present, but by changing your outlook and by taking personal responsibility for your life begin to project your future.
Be drawn forward by your future and stop being dragged back by your past.
We all have a past – but leave your past in the past. Build on the present and develop a magnificent future.
This takes a defining decision to move forward. This takes a fresh resolve. This takes developing fresh disciplines that build strengths into your character.
Stop saying, ‘I can’t.’ Declare, ‘I can.’
You and I have something of incredible value to contribute to our generation. So start contributing.
‘But where do I start?’ you ask.
2. Discover Your Passion
Your contribution will be intimately aligned with your passion.
Identify your passion and discover your contribution. Out of your passion will flow your contribution naturally.
Your contribution doesn’t have to be forced or engineered. Simply decide to follow the overflow of your passion.
Allow your challenges faced to fuel the inert passion within and watch as it provides you with stories and lessons that will inspire others to soar.
You owe it to yourself, and to this generation, to begin living out your passion like never before.
3. Pursue Your Destiny
Your destiny will not ‘drop in your lap’. You must pursue her. You must woo her. You must position yourself to fulfill her.
With a vision for your life, and with lifetime goals set you can begin to build towards your destiny by being diligent with your minutes.
Apply excellence, integrity, and discipline to the small tasks that you undertake on a daily basis, and forge foundations that will form the basis of a great life lived and a wonderful destiny unveiled along with a contribution that will answer life’s demanding question.