Something REALLY powerful emerged today in my Amazing Career Project course. It was a discussion prompted by one of the members about “Do I really matter?”
Wow…this is such a critical question that so many people, either consciously or subconsciously, grapple with. And I’ve witnessed that because they doubt whether they matter in this world – and question that anything they do is important or consequential enough – they’re held them back from accessing the bravery, commitment and strength to do what’s necessary to move forward to build a happier life and career.
And not understanding that they matter makes people erect an incredibly high bar to jump over, in order to feel they’re worth anything.
Questioning if we matter also stops us from thinking we have the right to claim a more joyful, meaningful life because we doubt if we’re “worth it” and if anything we do can ever make a real difference.
I’d love to share my take on “Do you matter?”
I believe this:
– Everyone and everything on this planet matters. Every creature, being, and soul matters.
– It doesn’t depend on how much you earn, what accomplishments you’ve made, how beautiful or powerful you are, or the size of your house. You matter.
– Have you ever been kind to someone who was down and depressed? You matter.
– Have you ever helped someone who was vulnerable and afraid? You matter.
– Have you ever taught someone a skill or shared an idea that helped them? You matter.
– Have you ever expressed love or compassion? You matter.
– Have you ever asked a question in a way that added to the conversation? You matter.
– Have you ever challenged something that needed challenging? You matter.
– Have you ever made a mistake that helped someone learn? You matter.
– Have you ever said “STOP!” and paved the way for others to say NO! to what was damaging and hurtful to them? You matter.
– Have you ever been a guide, mentor or helper to someone who was all alone and needed guidance? You matter.
You matter, because you are doing your best every day in this life that’s full of bumps, bruises and challenges, and no matter how many times you fall down and “fail,” you still impact the world around you by your very existence and your strength to keep moving forward.
In our class today, I offered a week-long exercise that I believe will help us understand just how much we matter. But as often happens, one of the course members offered an improvement on what was given.
Here’s the improved version:
For the next week, every single night, take 5 minutes and write down just one thing that you did, that made a difference, even if it’s the tiniest difference.
One kind word, gesture, idea, or conversation where you offered something. One smile that you offered someone, one helping hand. One question that shared a new perspective.
And if you’re game, also write down:
- 1 thing you’re grateful for
- 1 positive experience from the last 24 hours
Write these down and spend only 5 minutes, and in one week, look back at all the ways you’ve mattered and made a difference, no matter how big or small. I think you’ll be amazed at the impact you’ve had but never knew.
In talking about this with my course members, I recalled an experience that was unforgettable. We were at my beloved dad’s funeral, and so many people came out to tell us just how dad had made a beautiful difference in their lives – the funny, wonderful things he did that touched them in a way they’d never forget.
I was so moved and grateful for their kind sharing, but I couldn’t help but feel so sad that in many of these cases, my father never knew the Impact he had.
You matter, and so do so many people in your life today. Let’s not wait until someone dies for you to tell them how they’ve mattered to you.Tell them now, today.
A course member also shared this beautiful quote from the 19th century Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa:
“Everyone should have two pockets, each containing a slip of paper. On one should be written: I am but dust and ashes, and on the other: The world was created for me. From time to time we must reach into one pocket, or the other. The secret of living comes from knowing when to reach into each.”
What this brings up for me is the question of how to effectively and positively balance the feeling that we matter with the feeling of humility and impermanence that comes with human life.
I offer a simple solution – understand and embrace both, each and every day. They’re not mutually exclusively. We are, as physical beings, fleeting and impermanent. But we are also so much more than that. We matter in a lasting way because each word and each deed and action we put out into the world has huge ripple effects that extend very far, even into eternity.
I hope you’ll embrace the realization that you do indeed matter, and take action in your life that honors that fact.
And I hope you know that you matter to me.
Sending brave love to you,
For help to understand just how much you matter, and to build a more joyful life leveraging who you are, join me in the next session of my 16-week Amazing Career Project course.