We collectively approach a great unknown. Structure is largely a construct of our own desires and dreams, and all people are therefore left to determine what they will do, when they will do it, and how it will take place according to the life they envision for themselves. The way in which our capacity for life direction is wielded determines the affect our collective existence will have on this Earth both presently and in the future. Our power seems frighteningly absolute. Such authority over self often deters many from proactively anticipating the future as convenience overrides the intense demand of exceptionalism. Others, however, wield this power to make a significant impact.
Impact. A mark. A signature. An exhaustive memory of who we were and what we left behind. A legacy.
Impact surpasses the temporal, the physical, and extends into the abstract corners of our lives. Impact is simply this: to love and serve our fellow men and women with all we have for as long as we have; to live well.
Living well is more complex than those two words might fool you into believing, but here are three essentials for living a life of impact you will need to internalize in order to live well.
You must firstly have an unshakable foundation.
The cultural fiber of your local context has contributed to the laying of a foundation which constitutes your set of values. Further, from your families and the resolutions of various ideological and spiritual sojourns, a foundation of particular intellect and faith has been laid alongside the one contributed by your community. Body, mind, and soul, therefore, provide convictions to serve as guiding lights as the murky fog of the future is navigated.
Let me not misinform you – all of these lights are not helpful. A conviction has no power unless it is a conviction of truth, for a conviction rooted in falsehood is but folly leading unto entrapment.
Cling to truth! Remember where you have come from and those elements which comprise the deepest parts of your soul. Do not fall by the wayside chasing after futile fancies or deceptive convictions, but rather be anchored by the foundation you have lain and unshaken by challenging circumstances.
You must secondly have an unwavering purpose.
You are not a bundle of meaningless matter meandering through chemically-induced, culturally-directed interactions living for naught and dying to naught. You are a unique individual crafted for vibrant love, creative passion, and communal living. You have purpose!
To see life through such a lens changes everything! Here our talents and gifts are no longer hobbies but passionate pursuits whose ends are the purposes laid out for our lives. Our experience is rich when we leverage our all to the accomplishment of our purpose.
You will be presented a plurality of purposes as you go about your way. Occasional whispers will become ever present shouts, calling you to pursue a path or paths potentially damaging to the fulfillment of your design.
Stay the course! Remember the passion which motivates you and the purpose for which you have been created. Explore, but do not wander. Intent staves off the temptation of deviance and preserves an unwavering purpose.
You must lastly have an unfaltering hope.
My mother had a life-threatening lung tumor when I was a child. This time was very difficult for my family and me. When all my expectations were shattered, when all my affections were tested, when my loved ones were assailed, hope carried the day. An unshakable foundation created an unwavering purpose that led me to a perception of my positive standing in life, and thus produced hope. My mother recovered, and my family built strong bonds with the hope which guided us through such a painful struggle.
Hope is an absolute trust in the reconciliation of circumstances to a beneficial and peaceable end. Hope is more than a wish or a potential. Hope’s currency is reality, and its basis is in truth.
Whether pursuing advancement in your career or a transition into further education, know you will be tested and tried and taunted by the pain of a broken world.
Press on! Remember to smile, for you can have hope in the essence of your founding and purpose. You can overcome all adversity you face, for the fortitude of the human heart and the human spirit is a miraculous reality. An unfaltering hope prepares you to overcome life’s storms.
Use what you have learned to serve others. Leave a lasting mark on this world, and never settle by striving continually to improve, learn, and impact.
Impact: to love and serve our fellow men and women with all we have for as long as we have; to live well.
Squander not the gift of life, for beautiful are the stories of faithful servants and leaders. Write such a story and achieve your potential by laying an unshakable foundation, living with an unwavering purpose, and enduring with an unfaltering hope.