I hear many people (including myself) talk about how they want to make a difference, and I believe most of us are genuine when we make this statement; however, wanting to make a difference and making a difference are completely "different" things.
The more I think about this phenomenon of the need to be different or to make a difference, it leads me to reflect on who makes a difference and how they do so. I am reminded of the story of the little boy who on a hot summer morning took a walk on the seashore. The sand was covered with starfish that had washed ashore during the night. The little boy began to throw the starfish back in the water one at a time. After a short time the little boy was approached by an older man who said, "Sonny boy, don't you know, you will never be able to make any difference or get all of those starfish back in the ocean before they all die in this heat?" And the little boy looked at him and in his innocence threw another starfish in the ocean and said, "It made a difference for this one".
Some of us want to make a big difference and impact the world and others of us would just like to make a difference by influencing our teenager. The bottom line of making a difference, no matter how big or how small, comes down to how we allocate our resources. We all have a limited amount of resources. These are the three we need to use make a difference:
If you want to make a difference, first identify what it is you believe in and then check it against your resources. Are you willing to invest your time, talent and money to make that difference? If the answer is yes, then how will you do it? When will you begin? No one else can answer these questions for you. Whether you want to invent a cure for cancer or save one starfish, you need to begin by tapping into your resources.
I work with many leaders who say they want to make a difference in their family, but their work gets all of their time and talent... the family gets their money but, to absolutely make a difference, it takes all three resources. Be true to yourself when asking where you want to make a difference and if you are willing to allocate all three areas of your resources to actually make that difference. If you honestly want to know what is important, or where you are genuinely making a difference, look at these three resources.