Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Snapshot of You

Every Wednesday I attend a two-hour leadership course at Kansas State University called “Leadership in Practice.” This Wednesday was our final class, and a powerful one at that.

Heather, one of our teachers, decided to show us one of her favorite inspirational videos called “Celebrate what is Right with the World.” It is a story told by a National Geographic photographer who has learned many different life lessons through his photo shoots across the world.

While watching this clip, I couldn’t help but jot down quotes the photographer made about his journeys.  Here are just a few of my favorites:


“You won’t see it until you believe it”


“Celebrate what is right with every situation”


“Be the best YOU for the world”


“Light shines not on us, but from within us”


“Change equals possibilities. Times of change have the most potential.”


“It is on the edge where we find the wings to take us higher”


“There is a difference in living for success and for significance”


While the photographer made MANY good points, there are two that really stuck in my mind: 1) Be the best YOU for the world, and 2) It is on the edge where we find the wings to take us higher.


1)   Be the best YOU for the world.

Yesterday I bought and began reading the book called A Purpose Driven Life. The title is pretty self-explanatory as to what the books point is all about. What is your purpose here on earth?

The first chapter mentions how we are all put here on this planet to fulfill a specific purpose. You were no accident, but rather specifically created to serve this world in a unique way only you can. Every talent you have, skill you develop, personality trait you posses, and even your appearance has been designed to help you serve your purpose. 

Our photographer friend found his purpose photographing the world to share with others. He mentions how he strives to find the unique beauty in every situation—he knows it is there he just has to find it.  He changes his angels and point of view to shoot an even better picture for his audience to enjoy. Our photographer friend strives to improve for the world, not for himself.

In order to find and fill your purpose you must strive to improve yourself not for you, but for the world. Who are you to keep all your god-given gifts to yourself? They are meant to be shared to make this world a better place.

So, in times you are seeking motivation—think of the world. Those people living right next to you each day should be your motivation, your reasoning for working hard and striving for continuous growth. Even if you don’t know what exactly your purpose is yet, that is ok, by improving yourself eventually it will all fall into place.

2)   It is on the edge where we find our wings to take us higher.

Two weeks ago I saw a clip from a commercial for Honda engines. It has a race car driver talking about taking racing to the limits. She mentioned how there is a find line between going your fastest to win the race and driving to the point of recklessness. Every time she practices she pushes that  boundary, taking it to the point where she is as close as she can be to driving without crashing the car, and then she goes just a little bit farther. This is what the truly successful car drivers must do to continue to improve. Push to your limit, and then push just a little but harder to create a new dividing line for next time.


No, I am not telling you to go out and start drag racing the first person you see. Rather use this theory of “pushing to the edge” in other areas of your life. Perhaps you do this by deciding to run that extra mile you feel you are too exhausted to run. Maybe you take on a new project at work that stretches your current knowledge base.  Possibly you make a decision to take a heavier course load of classes next semester and make the commitment to study a set amount of hours a week.


If we are always on stable ground, we will never find the wings to really take off and fly into something even better than what we are experiencing now.  Settling for status quo is boring! Push yourself and feel the job of achieving a new bench mark in your overall goals!


Think about it…


Be the Best YOU for the World,


Push Yourself  to the Edge and Find the Wings to take You Higher.

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