|Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week|
Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified
-- Henry David Thoreau
What does a GREAT life mean to you? That is one of the most important questions an adult can ask -- and answer.
Too many of us wander through life and never examine that question. We fantasize that a great life is having money or fame or raising a family, perhaps driving a new car or having a house in the Hamptons, but we never rigorously decide exactly how we want to live our lives and what a GREAT life would look like.
We all know that a great life does not happen by accident.
A great life is not inherited and it does not come with a diploma, a promotion, getting married (or divorced), having kids or retiring early. A great life is NEVER automatic. It cannot be inherited and it never comes like an accessory with the "goodies" of life. Sure, lots of money, a penthouse apartment, political power or winning the Nobel Prize are wonderful things and I encourage you to aspire to ALL of them.
But none of them will guarantee you a great life.
It seems to me that a GREAT life has a grand purpose, a central theme and a unifying vision. A great life is a lifestyle that is chosen "on purpose" and is lived in the service of a vision greater than itself. A great life is living "a life on one's own" and it is invested, not merely spent.
Second, it seems to me that a GREAT life makes a great contribution. A great life uses its talents and abilities to make at least one small corner of the world better. A great life stands up, speaks out, and gets things done. A GREAT life makes a measurable difference and leaves the world better than we found it.
Third, it seems to me that a GREAT life leaves a path for others to follow. It is good to do great things; it's even BETTER to do great things and teach others to follow your lead. A GREAT life leaves a legacy. A GREAT life inspires the next generation to go further, reach farther, dream bigger and achieve more.
I am convinced that every one of us has the ability and the right to a GREAT life. Greatness is not reserved for a lucky few, for the rich or the powerful, for the artistic or for any small category of people. Living a GREAT life is the birthright of every human being, whether we express greatness in designing tall buildings, or by teaching children to stand tall.
Greatness is our birthright, whether we express our unique greatness in business or government, in art or music, in parenting, or in any of the thousands of so-called "small" ways that we often over-look, but which are absolutely essential. Most people remember a special teacher, and many of us had an uncle who taught us to whistle or a grandmother who taught us to read. Perhaps there was a neighbor who taught us to fish, who gave us our first job, or dared us to persevere when things were hard.
We all have the opportunity, and the challenge, to make a difference and to be GREAT. Each of us is invited to live a magnificent life, a life of substance and distinction that changes the world for those we touch.
I love the story of the "star thrower," about a man walking on a beach after a storm, throwing starfish back into the ocean so they won't die on the shore. Someone criticizes him for wasting his time, noting there are millions of starfish, and the few he saves won't make much difference.
The man silently bends over, throws a starfish into the surf and replies, "It made a difference for that one."
Set it as your minimum standard to live a GREAT life, to make a difference and have some fun! Eventually, down the road one day, we all have to look back and assess our life and when that time comes, we want to smile, knowing we did it right. Set that as your standard, and go for it!
Copyright © 2005, all rights reserved. Dr. Philip E. Humbert, professional coach, author and popular speaker. He has an excellent weekly newsletter and I encourage you to subscribe at: http://www.philiphumbert.com.