It seems like we (as a culture) talk a lot about “making our mark” on the world around us.
In essence, we desire to leave a legacy, something that make us feel significant.
With all this talk about significance and the future, what defines “making our mark”?
How do we leave our legacy?
How do we inspire change?
As most of you know, I graduated with a degree in advertising from the University of Oregon (Go Ducks). Following graduation, I interned for an advertising agency in Portland. During my internship, I began to crave a bigger adventure and to make my mark of significant work on the world.
I packed my bags and headed for the first place to present an adventure: Idaho. (See that post here)
Unfortunately for me, the city in which I resided had minimal opportunities for someone with my degree. This forced me to seek out other options for work.
I have always had an interest in non-profit organizations, something about helping others makes life seem brighter.
I sought a job at a non-profit organization called the Northwest Children’s Home, a home for youth who have been abused, neglected, and traumatized in one form or another.
After a few days of working on-campus, I realized that these kids would be my legacy.
Working with kids isn’t always easy, some days were really challenging. However, every day was rewarding and meaningful.
By investing my time and faith in those kids, I saw my legacy being built. It was in the way they smiled when I came to work, it was in the tears that they left on my jacket, and in the hugs and I love you’s I received on a daily basis. Even the smallest changes amazed me. That is what made my time there significant..
Start off small. Even the tiniest of efforts are worth your time. Don’t overlook little things, they build into big things. Making a significant mark on the world isn’t always petitioning to change it. Sometimes it is the smallest things that make the most difference.
Find something you care about. Follow that passion, it won’t lead you astray. If you don’t love what you are doing, you need to change it. Your quality of work is not the same if you hate your job.
Remember why you started. Never lose sight of why you are doing things. It is far too easy to get wrapped up in the significance, but don’t forget why you are there in the first place. Don’t do things for the reward, do it because you want to.
Keep your options open. Nothing works out the way that you expect. Never close the door on new options, you might find out that you enjoy something that didn’t make your top ten list in college.
Be thankful. If you are fortunate enough to change the world in some small way, cherish it.