How to Make an Impact in the World

Highlight on Pillar V: Make a Positive Difference in The World

This week the world mourned the loss of one if it’s most powerful voices, Dr. Maya Angelou. Dignitaries from around the world poured their love and appreciation for Dr. Angelou’s work. Those that were touched by her presence reflected on her impact and example and I paused to think of what her life meant to me. Dr. Maya Angelou never gave up on the human spirit. She held a belief and conviction that every human being could reach their highest expression no matter where they began in life. She used her words and experiences to make the world her classroom and we were all her students. Her greatest lesson was one of courage and love.

Dr. Maya Angelou’s legacy lives on in every seed of her admonishment toward courageous living. We began the year outlining The Seven Pillars of Life below, highlighted in Gifts of the Heart:

  1. Know that you are blessed
  2. Believe that you have the skills and talents to serve
  3. Bear your crosses and challenges in life with enthusiasm
  4. Live a committed life of service and make a mark on the world
  5. Make a positive difference in the world, even though you may upset others
  6. Commit yourself totally to service and never look back
  7. Never give up

In many ways Dr. Angelou’s life was an example of the pillars. She embodied what it meant to be blessed. She applied her talents and gave her gift of poetry, dance, and song in a committed life of service. She embraced her life challenges and brilliantly showed the world why a Caged Bird Sings. Most importantly, despite trauma, pain, and suffering, Dr. Angelou never gave up and she made a positive difference in our world through her grace, equipoise, and courage.

Dr. Angelou’s life is an inspiration. Her example serves to remind us all to embody Pillar V of the Seven Pillars of Life. Simply put: dare to make a positive difference in the world even if you upset others.

Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” In this statement she delivered the essential wisdom of the necessary ingredient of courage we all need to make a positive difference in our world.

Regardless of your past, present or perceived future, you have the potential to be courageous. Leaving an impact on the world just requires courage. So many brilliant ideas and life-altering breakthroughs are withheld because of a lack of courage. The only way you will leave an imprint in the wrinkles of time is to constantly take steps. Employ courage and trod out a path all your own. The life you have been blessed with will only be lived once. You are the star of your own motion picture and every moment is a new scene. The impact you leave on the world will be a combination of your courage, capacity to love, and your willingness to go against the grain. Therefore, do it. Have courage spread love and dare to make an impact.


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