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Ordinary People Can Live with Significance
by David DeFord

It’s holiday time—a time when our thoughts rise from our everyday living to higher ideals. Something lifts our sights above the everyday, and helps us focus on our relationships, on our neighbors, and on our fellowman.

The Babe from Bethlehem changed everything. His perfect life, inspiring teachings, and infinite sacrifice has had a profound impact on the world ever since. It was the turning point of human history.

Can ordinary people like us live lives of significance? Can we have profound impacts on others?

I am convinced that every person born to this earth has the seeds of extraordinary significance built into him or her. While our circle of influence may be much smaller than Christ’s, we can lift the lives of those around us. We can have lives filled with deep purpose and meaning.

"There is no passion to be found playing small--in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." -- Nelson Mandela

Our Circles of Influence Of course most of us can’t have the influence to inspire the world like Nelson Mandela, we can influence our own circles.

Our Families Some people focus so much on their work or their other passions that they fail to inspire and lift their own families. David O. MacKay said, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.”

And Harold B. Lee added, “The most important of the Lord's work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes."

We should all see that our drive to succeed in the world does not keep us at such a distance from our families that we lose our opportunity, or shun our responsibility to teach, love, comfort, nurture, and develop our own family members.

Family is the basic unit of society. Our work at home can effect many generations.

Those Around Us We have wonderful opportunities everyday to live with significance by influencing those around us. Treating others with respect, kindness, patience, and empathy lifts them and fulfills us. Have you ever been greeted by a store clerk or restaurant worker with enthusiasm and true concern? They communicate to you that they want you to have a good experience. How does that make you feel? It lifts your spirits, gives you positive energy. You can have the same impact on others.

Our Community Many people want the government to take care of every need for those who require help with healthcare, food, housing, small business loans, and most other humanitarian efforts.

When the government takes away from society the need and the ability to serve our fellowman, we all lose. When we, of our own volition, choose to serve, we choose true and abundant significance.

In spite of the billions of dollars the government spends for the relief of others, there are many needs to be satisfied by ordinary people. Unfortunately, it isn’t especially easy to find out where you can serve.

Here are a few suggestions:

Agencies for the elderly need people to deliver food, perform yard work, shovel snow, run errands, provide transportation, and dozens of other tasks.

Homeless and battered women shelters need painting and other fix-ups, as well as mentors for assisting their clients.

Service clubs, like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Exchange, provide service opportunities throughout the year.

Schools face shrinking budgets and need volunteers to help in their libraries, teachers’ aides, and help with athletics.

Youth programs, like Scouting and athletics, always need positive people to teach and guide our young people.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities Check your local phone book in the government pages for elderly care, and your yellow pages under, “Social Service Organizations” and “Youth Athletics.” You can also use the search engines under “Service Clubs.”

Living with Significance When we look back on our lives, we usually don’t savor our professional achievements as much as we do the impact we have had on the lives of others. We should not be content with our normal work-a-day lives—but see the great potential for positive influence we can have for the people around us.

As we approach the coming year, I challenge you to raise your sights, serve others, and live your life with extraordinary significance!

See Also:

Living a Life of Significance
While we remain in pursuit of many worthwhile personal endeavors, we must always remember to acknowledge and nurture those around us. Those who need nurturing may be our family or our co-workers; but they may also be those in the community at-large.

My Principles for Success in Life
The first step on the stair-case to success is DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE. Develop a definite plan for its achievement, a chief aim in life - a mission. Must be backed by ACTIVE FAITH. Doing this produces positive results. Persistent continuous action towards its attainment.

Giving Back to Spirit and Living in the Moment
How often do you find yourself worrying or obsessing about a problem only to be reminded to give it back to Spirit/God.

Avoid a Life of Regrets With Your Yes List
Too many times we say yes to others when we should say no. At the same time we continue to tell ourselves no when we need to say yes.

David DeFord is the owner of Ordinary People Can Win, a personal development company dedicated to helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary success in all areas of their lives. http://www.ordinarypeoplecanwin.com

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