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5 Ways to Leave Your Mark on the World
By Cheri Lutton

(FeatureSource) Have you ever wondered if your life mattered? If you've made a difference? Most people do, at one time or another. Few are ever really sure of the mark they've left on the world. Some think the footprint they leave must be huge. Others believe the little things we do leave the biggest impression.

No matter what your vision for your imprint, you must first take a step in the right direction. Fortunately, others have left deep footprints to follow. From “Mirrors of Love in Acts of Courage” (www.mirrorsoflove.com $24.99) here are five examples of leaders who have undoubtedly left tremendous marks, so you can follow in their great steps to make an impressive mark yourself.

Embrace Humility in Leadership: Blessed Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa exemplified a true saintly life, dedicated to purity and service toward the poorest of poor. Yet she was still a human being in modern society with all of the pressures of the world beckoning her attention. As petite as she was, Mother Teresa moved mountains of indifference so that society would become more aware of the enormous need for compassion toward others. She always spoke in gentle yet certain words. She once said, “ . . . being unwanted is the worst disease that any human being can ever experience.”

In being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Teresa replied, “I accept the prize in the name of the poor. The prize is the recognition of the poor world. Jesus said, ‘I am hungry, I am naked, I am homeless.’ By serving the poor, I am serving Him.” Through her humility, we are able to witness the joy that she experienced in her love for humanity. Through her leadership, she helps us to understand that a focused thirst for God will guide us to his spiritual presence within us all.

Envision and Execute: President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The daunting story of the Cuban Missile Crisis illustrates the wise leadership that President Kennedy displayed in the thirteen days of unprecedented suspense. This event reinforces the significance of selfless visionary leadership that is growth-based and rational, as contrasted with the all-too-somber and irrational possibilities that exist with fear-based thinking.

In “Profiles in Courage,” Kennedy’s insights are clearly expressed when he says, “ . . . the courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment, but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality.”

Kennedy’s hallmark of “grace under pressure” continues to inspire the world and provoke thought on the significance of courageous vision, humanitarian leadership, critical decision-making and, ultimately, executive action and service-oriented accountability.

Walk through Darkness: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy

In 1963, the First Lady of the most powerful country in the world was called upon to lead America and her family through the tragic loss of the late President, her husband. On her final walk during President Kennedy’s funeral—as well as during her last days as the First Lady—Kennedy found her own courage and carved a timeless legacy of Camelot.

“Jackie was a pillar of strength and resilience. It helped all the rest of us to sort of carry on,” said her brother-in-law, Ted Kennedy. Her poised essence of strength illuminated the world through that darkness.

The First Lady reminded the world that family life is central to society, even during her darkest hours of the most intimate of pains. Even in those first hours as a single mother and widow, Mrs. Kennedy never wavered from her path of purpose, remembering both her children’s birthdays. The First Lady gave us an imprint of leadership to follow that portrayed dignity, grace, elegance and, most importantly, a deep love for family.

Lead from the Heart: Grace, Princess of Monaco

Grace Kelly was an icon in her Hollywood days and went on to become a real princess in Monaco. Not only did Grace imitate life through art, but she also became one of those rare human beings whose art imitated her life. Although her movies became timeless classics that included an Academy-Award winner, her role as princess would become most legendary. Grace displayed a consistent desire to please, be loved and to love, throughout her entire life. With grace and style, the princess sought to create happiness amidst the pomp and protocol that she attracted in her life.

Leading from the heart, Princess Grace showed the world just how much she cared about people through her boundless contributions to society—from politics, performing arts and philanthropy, to motherhood, marriage and monarchy.

Find Goodness in Everything: Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana truly was the people’s princess, for she searched for goodness and found it in her compassion for others. Princess Diana never lost her shyness, despite unprecedented public adoration. Still, she found the inner strength to overcome her celebrity, instead using her beauty and allure to serve humanity. Diana chose to rise above her royalty and take charge of her notoriety. She successfully leveraged the press in support of her many causes, supporting the sick, needy and victimized—children and adults alike. Diana, Princess of Wales, realized how her charisma could effect profound change in social issues of much greater importance than mere fame, fashion and fortune.

As “mummy,” Diana became self-empowered in her most treasured role for her two children, Prince William and Prince Harry. Full of genuine hugs, kisses, laughter, tears, and tender loving care, Diana showed her boys and the world how to embrace humanity for its weaknesses and strengths.

See Also:

Cultivate A Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude is one of the greatest blessings in life and cultivating one is the best service we can do to ourselves.

Believing in You
You have great potential. When you believe in all you can be, rather than all you cannot become, you will find your place on earth.

Don't Ever Quit!
Throughout the many pages of scores of motivational books, with the Bible being at the forefront, we are encouraged to "not give up." We are told to believe that we can come through any situation and be victorious in life. Ask yourself this question: Am I up-beat or am I beat-up?

Life is a Choice!
Obstacles are a part of life. It can happen to anyone, and they happen to everyone. All of us, in no matter what the situation have a choice, but it's realizing you have the choice that empowers you.

Cheri Lutton, author of "Mirrors of Love in Acts of Courage" (CCQH, Inc., $24.99, at www.MirrorsofLove.com) believes that acts of courage are contagious, and as we read about and discuss the courage of others we learn how to be more courageous ourselves. For 27 more inspiring examples of leaders with courage and how they influenced the lives of the people around them, visit www.MirrorsofLove.com.

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