"We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility."

-- Albert Einstein


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 getting divorced), having kids or retiring early. A great life is NEVER automatic and it never comes packaged, 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. I encourage you to aspire to any (and 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 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 change at least one small corner of the world and make it better. A great life stands up, speaks out, and gets things done. A GREAT life makes a measurable difference and leaves the world a better place.

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 exercise our 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 in our hurry and in our arrogance we often overlook, 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, a life 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, that he can't possibly throw them all back, 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 is as your minimum standard to live a GREAT life, to make a difference. Eventually, down the road one day, we will all have to look back and assess our lives and when that time comes, we want to look back and smile, knowing we did it well. Set THAT as your standard, and go for it!

By Dr. Philip E. Humbert, professional coach, author and popular speaker. www.philiphumbert.com
Copyright (c) 2004, all rights reserved.


What struck me in Phil's words was that each and every one of us can make a difference using our given talents and abilities. We don't have to change who we are, we may only need to tweak "how " we are.

This week:

1. Spend some time thinking about your unique greatness.

2. Identify one step you can take to ensure you are on the path of a GREAT life.

3. Just do it!

        Tip of the Week
        Tip Archive 2008
        Tip Archive 2007
        Tip Archive 2006
        Tip Archive 2005
        Tip Archive 2004
        Tip Archive 2003
        Tip Archive 2002/2001
January 23, 2004
Contact AndreaE-mail Andrea

© 2000 Andrea Novakowski. All Rights Reserved  | designed by The Complete Website


Sign up to receive a free weekly tip from Coach Andrea. These tips provide thought provoking and inspirational ideas on business and life issues. We will also let you know what's new at http://coachandrea.com.