Making an Impact Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
difference

Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

My previous blog this week was about the 2020 Misner Leadership Scholarship winner, Jenna Valdez. My wife and I have been issuing these scholarships since 1999 to worthy students at Gladstone who have been actively engaged in leadership during their tenure at the school. When we issue the scholarship each year, we ask the recipient to help young people when they are an adult. We ask that they continue to be a leader by contributing to others in the future and to make a difference in someone’s life.

The leadership experience I received while at Gladstone changed the direction of my life. It was an integral part in helping to shape the person that I would become as an adult. It laid the foundation for many of the choices I made in college and throughout my professional career. There were individuals in my life who made a difference in my life. In this five-minute video, I tell the story of how one of these people really made a positive impact on my life. Back in high school, he helped to shape me into who I am today. He believed in me and gave me a chance when it seemed that no one else would. I learned from him to take time every day to make a difference in someone’s life.

Who made a difference in your life?

It is important to recognize the people who have made a difference in our lives. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge and understand how they positively impacted us. It can help us to gain clarity about ourselves as individuals about our personal values and ambitions. There probably is someone you can immediately call to mind who has impacted you and really made a difference in your life. Whether it happened recently or during your formative years, they made a difference in your life. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.”  Therefore, I firmly believe that our teachers, educators, and mentors play a huge part in helping us to get from where we began to where we want to go.

Please share your story below about a person you are grateful to. Let us know how they positively influenced your life and made a difference in your life. I would love to read your story about someone who impacted you in a way that helped you get where you are today.

Your Contribution Lives On

The news of Robin Williams’ suicide stunned me last week. He is someone we collectively feel strongly personal about, as if we knew him as a friend. And the situation that apparently led him to take his own life – depression – just left me feeling like I had been sucker punched.

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And then it led me to some deeper and more profound thoughts. Albert Pine, an English author who wrote in the early 19th century said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains unchanged and is immortal.” There is no doubt that Robin Williams has left a mark on our world. I have spent hours laughing through one of Williams’ movies, a comedy show or even a simple interview, and I’m sure you have, too.

To paraphrase Pine, I would say the following: What we do for ourselves ends with us.  What we do for others lives on.

I certainly hope that what I do for others will live on. This shattering event has given me a moment to pause and take a look at how I have started a movement within business with the purpose to change the way we do business.

I’m so serious about this movement that I have adopted as my motto: “Changing the Way the World Does Business®”This change comes by implementing a shift in the focus of how we go about growing our businesses – from a dog-eat-dog, competitive model, to a how-can-I-help-you, collaborative model.

One of our business colleagues said recently about our mission that “we know referrals are our purpose, but impacting someone’s life is our calling.”

When doing business with the “givers gain” philosophy gets really embedded in practice, there’s a huge movement from “transactional” to “transformational relationships,” and both people and business take on fresh dimensions of trust and creativity that can’t be measured with mere numbers. That ethos and experience, multiplied in viral fashion, changes the face of business, which in turn impacts lives in positive ways.

Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, wrote, “Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.” This Givers Gain business focus started when I was just 28 years old and has provided me with a rewarding and long career.

I think we can all use our loss of one of America’s great comedians and actors to start a conversation about what our contribution is going to be that will live on past our life span. I would encourage you to design a fulfilling life. Whatever you are, be a good one, as my friend Stewart Emery says.

I sincerely hope that somehow Robin Williams had a sense of the contribution he made to our lives before he left us, all too soon.  

Rest in peace, Robin. You will be missed.

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