I was leaning on the counter, watching the seconds tick off of the clock at the end of the workday. There was something in me that wanted to grab my head and scream out: “No! NO! NOOOOO! There has to be more than this. I want my life to count for something!” I could not hold back the tears that hit the counter and made little puddles.
I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about!
I bet deep down inside you know that you were created for more. There’s something in you that wants to make a difference.
At that moment, I was 20 years old and the manager of the credit department inside a department store. All I did all day long was read credit reports and stamp applications with “approved” or “denied.”
I was paid well for a 20-year-old. But it was meaningless work. I was helping people buy “stuff” they could not afford … trying to find meaning in their own lives.
In that process, like you, I concluded that the deep longing to do more, to be more — was not something that could bought with money.
At the time, I had never heard the phrase “World Changer.” I didn’t even know what words to put on that deep yearning within me. That deep longing to make a difference.
I just knew it was there. I bet you remember the first time that you knew it was there in you.
I think when we begin feeling that deep yearning inside, we immediately begin to think of why we can’t do it.
For me, I had been told by my first grade teacher that I was not “educational material.” So I naturally assumed I wasn’t smart enough to make a difference.
My friends were all off at college. With no education, I just knew I had nothing to offer. I wondered if my whole life was really meant to be spent stamping credit applications? It seemed like all of my hopes and dreams were falling to the ground around me.
Maybe you found some of these common excuses to dismiss the yearning inside of you:
I’m too young; or too old
I don’t have any special gifts or skills
I don’t have enough money to build an orphanage (or whatever you would love to contribute to the world)
I’ve made too many mistakes or bad choices
I don’t have anything to offer
I’m from the wrong culture or the wrong neighborhood
Thoughts like that are common to most of us.
Someone once said that the graveyard is the richest place in the world. Why? Because, while most of us have dreams, longings, and callings, we often lack the courage, or the resources to act on our dreams. Worse, we sometimes buy into the above-mentioned excuses. Many have carried their dreams to their graves. Songs unsung, inventions never heard of, solutions we had that were desperately needed by the world. All buried in the graveyard.
I determined that the only thing that I would leave for the graveyard was the fulfillment of living my life to the fullest, pouring out everything in me, and enjoying the ride!
One of the reasons I selected this topic this week was that I recently lost a very dear friend. He was a crackerjack of a man! Full of energy, generosity, and great dreams.
We had spent a lot of time talking about what he was going to do when he retired. But he died suddenly two months later. As I spoke to his wonderful son about all of the hopes and dreams his father had shared with me, I told him I wanted him not to take his dreams to his grave.
I bet that you are like me when I first began this journey. You have no idea where to start. I bet it’s almost as daunting as it is exciting.
My goal here today is to get you on the path, on the journey, to speaking your deep calling, your deep longing, into life.
First, if you feel that longing, embrace it! It’s in you for a reason. You don’t have to try to figure it all out right away. Just embrace it.
Secondly, be grateful for it! Not everyone recognizes the calling within them. I believe you do. Be grateful that you have a chance to do something amazing!
Thirdly, give yourself permission to believe in yourself. Believe that there is a longing, a calling, something you can contribute to the greater good of our world! I know that deep longing. And I give you permission to believe in yourself, and to believe you can do great things with this deep soul connection to make a difference.
When I began my journey, I read everything I could find on the topic. I talked to all those in my acquaintance that were living out their dreams. But the advice I got was not that helpful. Basically, the advice was to “let it happen.”
I spent the next ten years determined to figure it out. You see, I didn’t want to just know for my own sake. I wanted to know for your sake!
First, I defied the comments of my first-grade teacher: I started my college degree. I earned 5 degrees in 6 years. I was hungry for direction, hungry for answers.
Although my educational process serves great purpose in my life, I still didn’t know how to bring my deep longing to life.
I began studying with masters. People like Dr. John Bradshaw, Pia Melody, Tony Robbins, Dr. Harville Hendrix, Dr. Helen Hunt Hendrix, Joyce Meyer, John Maxwell and many more.
Bits and pieces began to come together. I began designing workshops and programs to share what I had learned. I was able to present them all over the world, including non-English-speaking countries (through interpreters.)
After many years, I put my program together. I’ve had the honor and privilege of sharing my learning with many potential world changers like you.
So let me get you started.
Let me assure you: you don’t need a PhD. You don’t need any specific training. All you need is a belief in that deep yearning within you.
As I said earlier, don’t try to figure it all out right now. Just start!
Does the thought of “just starting” induce a panic attack?
Don’t worry! I’ve got your back! Here’s one very simple thing that you can do in the next 24 hours to get started.
It will not cost you a dime, but it takes courage.
Are you ready?
I’m sure you expect me to give you ten steps for you to take in the next 24 hours.
Not this time! I’m only going to give you one thing to do:
Think of someone you care about that may be struggling. Maybe they’ve lost a loved one; maybe they are struggling with their job; maybe their child is off course; maybe their heart has been broken by their husband or wife.
You don’t have to know them well, just well enough to know that they are struggling, even if you know because another person told you.
Take a deep breath and reach out to them and say words similar to this: “I sense that you are struggling. How could I make your day better?”
You mean that’s all??
Yes. That’s your first step.
At first, they will likely to say, “I don’t know.“
Therefore, go with a suggestion or two. If it’s a wife with a broken heart, you might say, “could I come take your kids to the park for an hour this afternoon?“ Or if it’s someone struggling with their job, you might offer, “would you like to go on a walk together this evening and let me just be a good listening ear?“
Even if they don’t take you up on your offers, you actually made their day just by asking. It’s your first step! You can do it!
I hope you will decide to do it in the next 24 hours. There’s something about the momentum of massive immediate action that causes us to come alive!
The outcome of this step is not nearly as important as the action of taking the step! Remember, you are honoring that deep yearning within.
Please take the first step. Take it in the next 24 hours.
Then, repeat the step at least two times a week. Action fosters action. It’s human nature. But you must act first to get it rolling.
Those of us with the yearning do not just “eat all of our harvest.”
We plant some of the seeds. As you seek to plant some of those seeds, your next step will be before you.
One of those I asked for advice early on was a great pastor, Dr. Larry Lea. He said this to me. “Keep on doing what you know to do, and doors will open.” I guess I looked puzzled because he pointed me to a very practical verse from the Bible.
So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10
He explained that the real issue is that many people are guilty of giving up after one try.
He looked me right in the eye, and leaned forward when he said, “Keep on keeping on doing what you’re doing. Relentlessly. I assure you that you will find your open door.“
He said it with such conviction that I held those words in my heart until I found the open door. For me, the open door was putting together the pieces of all I had learned to turn my ordinary life to something extraordinary.
And I now have the honor of helping you. You can do this. But you’ve got to step up, step out and get started.
Please … Take the step to get started.
That deep longing in you, that deep yearning to make a difference, means you are a world changer! Embrace it, be grateful for it, believe in yourself.
Take your first step.
I’m cheering you on!
In the next 24 hours, you, my friend, will make the world a better place.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The world needs you!