It has occurred to me over the last few years that one of the best things each of us can do during our lifetime is to help and serve others. I’ve also been reminded about that with one of my guest speakers that I’ve had speak to my Principles of Leadership classes the last three years. That guest speaker happens to be a friend of mine along with being my current boss, Dr. Joe DiPonio. He has told my students that one of the most honorable things we can spend our time doing, is to be of service to others. I could not agree more.
He mentioned one of his mentors from his high school days was the best example of this and he was a huge difference maker in his life. I have one of my mentors from my college days that had the same huge impact on me and my life and the lives of thousands of others. His name was Dr. Wells Cook at Central Michigan University.
Looking back, I’ve always wanted to be that difference maker for my students. But now it seems I have focused on ramping it up more with what Dr. Cook was all about. He’s no longer with us as he passed from a battle with cancer just about 10 years ago already. I think about him often and I look back to everything he did for me and I know it’s the least I can do in honor of him, is for me to get off my butt and start playing BIG in my life instead of playing small. As I’ve mentioned before, playing small does nobody in the world any good at all. It comes down to me looking to help more people than just my students. Spreading the light for me means to invest in people and get them to believe in themselves, just like Dr. Cook did with me.
That is one of my many messages to my seniors this year, invest in others. Believe in them. Be the light for them to show them the great possibilities that they have in their life. Be that difference no matter what you get into in life as you don’t have to be a teacher or a coach in order to make this happen.
So I know I need to continue to ramp up my efforts with my students, my wife and kids and the rest of my family. I need to do this with my basketball coaching that I’ll be starting to get back in with the girls varsity at our local high school where my kids attended. I will be trying to volunteer a little more with the other programs my kids were involved with there; the track & cross country programs along with the band program too. I also need to play bigger with my blog, my podcasts, my videos, getting going on my first book, my coaching programs, continuing to improve with my teaching, more reading, the list is really endless where playing less small would benefit me and so many others.
Ask yourself this – where can I offer more light into other people’s lives? Where and with who can I be a bigger difference maker? Where else in my life can I play BIGGER, instead of playing small? Let me know some of these answers as I would love to learn from you and help you too if I can.