Welcome! Today’s podcast is part five in our five-part ARISE series. Links to the previous episodes can be found at the bottom of this page, and you can listen to the audio by clicking the “play” button above!
Today we’re focusing on the “E” in ARISE, which stands for “Expand.”
We’ve found that most people in our LearnDoBecome community want to serve in a bigger way. That doesn’t mean that everyone wants to start a non-profit or build a business or take on a huge project. But each of us wants to know that our life, our experience, and our efforts are having a positive effect on the world in some way.
Our goal in this podcast is to help you think bigger and open opportunities where you can leave a legacy that feels really good to you.
Here are a few principles we want to share today:
1. You can’t not have an influence. [7 Minutes]
I asked a group of people one time, “How many of you watch other people more than they know you’re watching them?” EVERYONE raised their hand. Then I asked, “How many of you think you are probably being watched more than you originally thought you were?” At first just a few people raised their hand, and then the class thought, “Oh wait, hang on.. if I’m watching other people, then other people must be watching me, too!”
Whether we’re doing a kind act for somebody, or just going about our regular interactions at work or the grocery store, we are setting examples in ways we may not even realize. All of our choices and actions DO have an impact. This realization may open our eyes to those little decisions we make throughout each day that shape the way we impact our communities.
2. There is often incredible power in “the simple things of life.” [9 Minutes]
Our mothers have both made an incredible impact in the world. For example, Eric’s mom is the “package queen.” She remembers birthdays, writes letters to people who are lonely or forgotten, and will often go out of her way to connect and have conversations with people. Our fathers have also been positive influences in our lives (listen to the podcast for some stories!). And though we recognize that every family has challenges and that families don’t always feel like a source of strength, we believe that there is good (or the potential for good) in every person.
We invite you to ask yourself, “What talents and abilities do I have that could be a part of my impact and legacy?”
Maybe you’re great at writing letters, giving gifts, listening, or servicing in another way. There are limitless possibilities for us as individuals to have an impact, and it truly can be in the simplest of ways.
3. There is a limitless number of creative ways that you can expand your influence in a way that feels fun. [13 Minutes]
We share examples here of individuals who we know that have had an impact in their own unique, creative ways (listen to the podcast for more details!):
- Erin Gruwell – The founder of Freedom Writers, and co-author of “The Freedom Writers Diary” (linked below).
- Kara Lubin – Another teacher we knew from Southern California who saw the need for more movement with her elementary-school students, so she started the 100-Mile Club.
- John Zickefoose (Mr. Z.) – Encouraged literacy in the public library through “Mr. Z’s Story Time”.
- Caroline Duran – A law professor who uses much of her spare time to work pro bono for Hispanic Immigration Services.
- Mother Theresa – Dedicated her life to humanitarian work in India.
- Caroline Girvan – An online fitness trainer and founder of the Epic Program.
The beauty of service is that is comes is all shapes and forms. You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to find it, either. Most of these individuals simply took something that was already a part of their daily routine—and then found a way to expand it to more fully serve those around them.
Some Closing Thoughts [3 Minutes]
We hope that these three principles we’ve discussed here today provide you with some food for thought. There are opportunities every day to leave a positive impact on someone else’s life, and we hope that this conversation encourages you to think about how you too can EXPAND your influence in your daily life and communities.
LearnDoBecome Invitation: Take a moment to think about where your talents and natural abilities could shine. Write down some of those talents, abilities or gifts that you have, and resolve to do one thing this week that uses them to shape a situation you are in to leave a positive impact on somebody’s day. And if you find this moment to be a meaningful experience for you, please feel free to comment and share it below!