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Acting like we make a difference

Show up, follow through, change your life

Posted: September 4, 2008 6:12 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
The other day, I found myself in one of those frustrated moods where I was saying to myself, "What difference does it make? No one will notice if I don't go to that meeting." When I thought about this self-talk, I realized I have heard this kind of statement many times before, both inside my own head, and from others around me.

It was interesting to notice myself falling into this thinking, because I really am of the belief that it is important to follow through on what we commit to, that it's important to "show up." That it does make a difference when we do. As I thought about it more, I thought it would be a good thing to remind myself and anyone reading this that everything we do really does matter. So does the manner in which we do the things we do. And in the same way, so do the things we choose NOT to do.

I have to credit a man I met in my workouts at Fitness Edge Boot Camp - Trooper Walter - for a inspiring me on this one. One early morning as we worked out, he shared with me that he works hard to approach EVERY DAY with the intention of connecting with and making a positive difference to everyone he encounters. EVERYONE. What a notion. What an enlightened way to walk through the world. Imagine what our town would be like if we all did this even just a small part of the time.

The truth is, big changes and events in the world and in our lives are really accumulations of many, many small actions taken over time. What you do in any moment is a building block towards an outcome. What you do in any moment could be the final thing that makes THE difference, the tipping point. The point is, you never know when that is, so it makes sense to be as mindful as we can.

So, as William James said: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

How exactly do you act like what you do makes a difference? Here are some steps for doing it. Some are small and some are bigger. It doesn't have to take much time, or be big and dramatic. You can make a huge difference with small actions. I am sure you already make a difference in the lives of those around you

n Take a few moments to think about who and what makes a difference to you. Now identify some of the situations where you make already difference to others.

n Think about some things you are doing that you know will make a difference for you or those around you, now or in the future.

n Be like Walter. Set an intention that you will make a positive difference in the lives of each person you interact with today. To help you remember, put up reminder notes in your car and on your refrigerator.

n Resolve to change one part of your behavior today and make a difference to someone in your life. Some ideas: Take a breath before talking when your kids anger you, give your employee a compliment, or take time to really listen to a friend.

n Make a difference to a stranger. Help someone at the market, smile at people, let others merge in first on the freeway, or pay someone else's toll on the bridge.

n Do something to make a difference in your community: Volunteer, give blood, contribute. There are countless ways to help. If you need ideas, contact Hands on Santa Clarita (www.volunteerinscv.org), or the City of Santa Clarita (www.santa-clarita.com/cityhall/parks/volunteer.asp) for organizations you can assist.

Acting in this way honors the best in us all. As with anything, the more you do it, the more natural it becomes, and the more you notice shifts in your life. Try it and let me know what you experience as a result.

Karen Maleck-Whiteley, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist, coach, speaker and author. She is also the co-owner of Balance Point Spa, 18285 Soledad Canyon in Canyon Country. For information (661) 252-0650 or visit www.Balancepointspa.com.

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