Adding a meaningful contribution to the world does not always come in the form of a soup kitchen, saving children and any other self-sacrificing deed. If you believe that the above-mentioned are the only way to an everlasting legacy and internal peace, you might be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.
To self-sacrifice or shine?
I found that everything we do serve us at some level, even when you are going to run a soup kitchen. It serves something inside you, it might even be guilt. Who knows? I can only speak for myself! In my view, self-sacrifice in most instances leads to a diminishing of self and one’s abilities, which inevitably leads to a lessened impact upon the world. You are not leaving that legacy that you are so craving.
Diminishing yourself in this sense means that you are acting and doing things that might not resonate with your true self. You are merely mimicking the way in which you have seen others serve the world and then assuming this is the way you should serve the world too.
Instead of self-sacrifice, why not shine in your capabilities and use that to bring about the changes that you want to see in this world? Why not develop and sharpen your skills, knowledge and talents to the benefit of the world instead of limiting them because you only know of one way to serve others in need.
Your uniqueness IS the change this world needs
There are not one single way to serve and change this world, soup kitchens, helping children etc. etc. There are 7 billion ways in which the world can be served and changed for the better. This can happen when each person in this world brings their uniqueness to the fore. It will not lead to less soup kitchens or people ready to help those in need, because that is their unique way in which they serve the world.
Warren Buffet is a case in point; he is good at making money. He is not good at philanthropy on the ground, but Bill Gates on the other hand is, and thus Warren gave the bulk of his fortune to Bill to make a change in the world. So, Warren continues to make money and be the change in the world according to his unique talents and skills. If he dropped that and did philanthropy on ground level the money will disappear and the impact he can have in this world is diminished or even completely lost.
How does your uniqueness serve the world?
You have special skills, talents and a unique life perspective. You can use that to make major changes within this world. For me, I only realised at the age of 40 that I create businesses to serve as a platform for self-development and self-exploration. In plain English, if I have an interest to explore a topic that will grow and challenge me as a human being. I build a business and use that as a platform through which to grow. Not a hobby, not something I do on the weekends when work ends, no! I create something I do as work/play/development/cash flow/meaning/passion all wrapped into one.
That is a unique skill I have and found most people would love to have, but do not think they have it in them or can do it. But I can see that potential to have the same as I have in people and I help them bring their uniqueness to the world, using the platform of business. So, the way that I am changing the world, is to help people see the business opportunities of life. How they can bring their true self to life and legacy, using a business to do so. I have a lot of belief in this skill that I have, so much so that I believe that this is the way that will enable the 80% of us that never thought of starting a business to be able to. That way I will economically empower the world. Because I focus a lot on collaboration and co-creation, I will bring the world together through business. Why business? Well, that is what I know and where my skills lie.
So, when you feel like saving the world and committing yourself to some selfless act, first ask yourself: What is your unique skill? How will it serve and change the world if you were to focus on it and bring it to life using business instead of standing handing out food packages that might not be the best use of your talents? This way you will have maximum impact and change within this and the highest possibility to leave a legacy. Find yourself, find your purpose, find your mark, find your legacy.
A future created in collaboration is a future of inclusion and endless possibilities, not just for Africa but the world – Willem Gous
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