Live Like It Matters Challenge
Fifteen years ago I was a young mother at the end of another exhausting day, and I wondered, is this it?
I graduated college, worked years at a great company, and quit a promising career to be home with my children to wipe counters, noses and bottoms all day?
Today, I'm sitting in my office with piles of paper scattered across my desk, emails to answer, phone calls to make, and numbers to crunch. And I wonder, is this it?
I know I’m not the only one. You feel the same way. The restlessness, the divine discontent, a desire within your heart to make a difference. We all want to know our lives count.
I was in my 20s when I read John Maxwell’s book “Developing the Leader Within You”. The most important words of the entire book were these:
Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted person will influence 10,000 people in his or her lifetime.
I was astounded. To think I would impact 10,000 or more people in my lifetime was amazing and humbling.
The 10,000 statistic is a pre-social media number. It’s not a stretch to guess that the most introverted person will impact an exponentially greater number of people in his or her lifetime. Fifty thousand, maybe even 100,000 with Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and all the other ways of connecting with others.
The statistic might have changed but the main point of John Maxwell’s book is a timeless truth: at its most basic, leadership is influence.
In other words, you matter. I matter. And what we do matters.
That’s why I’m passionate about Live Like it Matters.
A couple of years ago, I issued Live Like It Matters challenges on my blog to remind myself and others of the significance of our day-to-day interactions. The challenges connect our desire to make a difference with our everyday lives. The challenges include:
- say hello to a stranger
- write a note to a coworker.
- give a 40% tip the next time you eat at a restaurant
- volunteer at a local charity for a day/a week/regularly
The challenges prompt us to look for opportunities to live like it matters right where we are.
Because some of the thousands we’ll reach are the people we meet day in and day out. One of yours may be the tired unnamed waitress that served you lunch on Sunday, a young man in your daughter’s class struggling with his identity, the homeless couple who sit on the curb near the mall you drive past each day, or the flustered UPS guy hauling heavy boxes inside your office building each morning.
We don’t have to be entertainers, politicians, professional athletes or authors to touch thousands. We don't need Twitter followers, websites, or Facebook pages. It’s those of us in our workplaces, at the schools, and in lines at the grocery store checkouts who make the difference. We can live like it matters at the bank, the park, or the gym.
We live like it matters when we change diapers, wipe snotty noses, and wash dishes. Take heart, tired young parent, take heart. Home is the best place to live like it matters.
When we live like it matters our routines are rich with opportunity, the mundane is meaningful, and our lives turn from ordinary to extraordinary.