Years ago, I was walking along a beach in the early morning and happened upon a single set of footprints in the sand. I stood there looking at them and wondered about the person who created them. I was so interested in the single set of footprints that I sat down next to them and asked myself the following questions:
“Who do they belong to?”
“Where are they coming from and where are they going?”
“What are their trials and tribulations/joys and happiness?”
“What brought this person to the beach?”
“How many people have walked past these footprints and never really paid any attention to them?”
While seated there in a contemplative state, a realization hit me…”When the next tide comes in, these footprints will be gone!” What has been left behind for me to see at this moment in time, will quickly vanish and this person’s impression is going to be gone forever. I will have known of their existence but no one else.
My thoughts moved to the need to be more present and visible. That we have the need to leave a longer lasting impression than a mere footprint in the sand, which will be gone in a short matter of time. As a result, a number of points came to me because of the way I framed a question: “How can I leave a lasting impression and not just a footprint?” There was a need for me to create some thoughts on how I, and anyone, can try to leave their impact on others in a positive way. A lasting impression is about creating a presence that becomes your signature.
Four key areas emerged that provide a way that I can try to leave a lasting impression and not just a footprint. Your perspectives might be different but the following four were important in my journey.
• We can see with our eyes but we don’t vision our future – We don’t spend enough time understanding our passions and how to realize our purpose. There is a need to not only think about our future, but to also decide on how to make it real.
• Life is going to throw you choices, if you don’t make the decision, people around will make the decisions for you – How comfortable are you with allowing other people to make decisions on your behalf because if you don’t take the time to make your own mind up, those around you will make it for you.
• Limitations, you set the bar – When we use words like can’t or won’t, we have set up our limitations and what we will accomplish. Sometimes we need to listen to our language and the words we use because that can limit how far we go.
• Persistence – Anything we want to accomplish in life is worth pursuing. If it matters to you then you need to stick to the plan. You are on a crash course to accomplish what you set out to do until you throw a limitation.
What helps you to accomplish your lasting impression is to realize the journey does not have to be yours alone. There are champions and enablers who are there to guide and support you. They help you to realize and unlock your potential. A champion and enabler is someone who supports your journey. They ask you questions that you might not have thought about. The objective is to help you think about who you are and what is important to you. Over time, you are leaving a lasting impression all over the place and there is no tide that can remove what you have accomplished and what you stand for.
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