8 Ways You Can Make a Lasting Difference and Leave a Legacy

You’re already a success – and you’ve made positive changes that have opened doors for you and shown you what you’re capable of. You’ve overcome challenges and your life is better – but what if you want to make a difference outside of your own life and your own circle?

Do you wish to do great things that profoundly impact the lives of others? It’s nice to know that you can have such an effect even if you don’t consider yourself wealthy or influential. Simply open your eyes to the possibilities floating around you!

Here are some ways to bring light to the lives of others:

1. Take notice of others. It can be a challenge to actually see those who are right in front of you. Consider the custodian at work, the elderly man who walks his dog past your house each day, or the sales clerk at the convenience store.

* We all offer something of value to the world. Focus on who is around you and acknowledge their presence.

2. Make a positive personal comment. A kind word, funny statement, or short conversation can make a positive impact on another person’s day – or sometimes, even their life.

* “You did such a good job with that” or “Your colors are perfectly coordinated today” tell others you have interest in them.

3. Emit positivity. No matter where you are, nothing has a greater effect than a positive person in the crowd. Be that person – it can also help ensure you stay in positive spirits!

4. Keep your eyes and ears open to the needs of others. Maybe an unemployed neighbor has a teenage daughter who desires to complete a training program for her dream career. Unfortunately, the program costs $500 and your neighbor cannot afford to pay this fee for his daughter. Can you?

* What would it mean to you and that young lady if you’re willing to pay for the training that will make her dreams come true?

* You’ll be exhilarated once you begin to give what you can to others in ways that will enhance their lives. You simply cannot imagine this feeling until you’ve experienced it.

5. Be willing to give your time, skills or both to something worthwhile. What if a friend needed to complete a class but had no babysitter for her child? Would you step up and offer your babysitting services free of charge? Think about how appreciative she would be.

* Perhaps, at first, she wouldn’t accept your offer. There may be times like these where you must insist in order to help another. The experience will be quite rewarding for you.

6. Be brave. Whenever you reach outside your comfort zone to affect others, it will feel different, awkward or a bit uncomfortable at first. Embrace the idea of doing something to affect another person in ways you might not even understand or realize right now. Exude your confidence in the process. Try it and see what happens.

7. Start your own “slush fund” for contributing to the lives of those who need it. The total amount is less important than your intentions to do something that matters.

* If you want to give a larger amount than you have right now, save a little at a time. If you bank $50 a month, at the end of a year you’ll have $600 to contribute to a single cause, or to multiple causes.

* You’ll be surprised at the opportunities you’ll discover to do something great for someone. Your generosity can change their life for the better.

8. Think of the long-term effects of your contributions. When evaluating situations to determine whether to help, consider the long-term consequences.

* For example, giving $500 for a complete training program for someone who’ll retain ongoing employment because of it is profoundly affecting. However, giving that same $500 to someone to pay their bills for one month without future plans for change may not be your preferred way of contributing.

* Babysitting someone’s child for 6 months while they attend evening classes to complete their bachelor’s degree will ultimately have a greater effect than loaning someone money to install stereo speakers in his vehicle.

If you want to contribute to the lives of others, look around you. It’s exciting to know that with a bit of extra money, time, or work, you can dramatically change the life of another person forever. Commit now to make a difference and find a way to leave a legacy – no matter how small! You’ll be amazed at the renewed passion you feel for your own journey, and just how much positive impact you can have.