I follow up one of my longest posts last week with one of my shortest ones this week.
I figured it was appropriate to finish with Maxwell as the entire series started with Maxwell and had Maxwell’s fingerprints all over it. Both quotes come to us from his book Intentional Living: Choosing a Life that Matters.
The title of today’s post uses the key word from each quote—intentional and action.
The first quote is, “An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.”
If we are going to be coaches of significance, leaders of significance, or just plain people of significance in other people’s lives, we must be intentional about doing so.
Significance doesn’t just happen.
It requires us to focus our intentions on being that person of significance and then figuring out how to go about fulfilling our intentions.
If we are unintentional, we just do whatever comes our way. We wander through life without any specific direction in mind for where we want to go, especially with where we want to go with regards to making a difference in other people’s lives.
Oh, how I struggle with this!
I have every intention of doing some important work every day that is going to lead to something significant for others (often for you!), and then life steps up and says, “Hey, why don’t you do this right now instead?”, and I head down a rabbit hole that completely overtakes my morning, afternoon, or entire day.
This often happens when I have these posts to write, my podcast episode to record, or a video to shoot. It especially happens when I want to batch write, record, or shoot a few of them at the same time.
I have every intention of knocking out two, three, or four posts, episodes, or videos, and then I don’t even get one done on time because I let other things take over my day.
I bring Maxwell’s words to life by allowing myself to be unintentional, accepting everything (or at the very least, something) that comes my way, and then doing nothing to advance my intention to be significant.
I need to be stronger in my conviction towards being significant and not allow those things to derail me.
The second quote really adds to and advances the concept of being intentional about being significant:
“Action is what converts human dreams into significance.”
Being a person of significance in others’ lives comes down to taking action.
I can’t just say, “Okay, I want to be a person of significance. I want to be a difference-maker. I want to be someone who matters.”
Wanting it is not enough.
Talking about it is not enough.
I have to go out and DO IT!
Yes, I need to be intentional about wanting to be a person of significance.
But then I need to take the necessary actions to do so.
And I need to take those necessary actions on a consistent basis.
Significance is not a one-time thing.
I can’t just say today, “I want to be a coach of significance in my kids’ lives,” and then spend that one day trying to connect with them, help them grow, and try to impact them for just that day.
I need to do that every single day if I truly want to be impactful and be a coach of significance.
And, once again, this is done intentionally.
I can’t just hope that by being around them at practice or games or meetings, it will make me be someone who they consider to be a difference-maker in their lives.
I have to figure out what it means to be a difference-maker for each of them and then go out and act accordingly toward and for each of them.
Being a person of significance in others’ lives is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
While there are common traits/behaviors/actions that people of significance need to exhibit and live by, they still need to figure out how best to apply those traits/behaviors/actions to each person they are dealing with.
It is hard to be a person of significance in someone else’s life, if you don’t connect with that person individually with heart, caring, and empathy.
And the best way to do that is to find out as much as possible about them so as to meet them on their terms and then provide the kind of help, guidance, caring, and leadership that will best serve them.
Yes, we need to lead others as one group or team in order to bring all of them into the concept of being great teammates, help them learn how to help the team, and why it’s important to do so.
But we also need to focus on each of them individually to figure out the best way to do that with each of them.
All of this requires two things from the quotes by Maxwell—intentionality and action.
So, as you work with your teams in the coming week, month, or year, remember these two concepts from Maxwell’s quotes: Be intentional about being a leader of significance and take action to make it happen.
I hope you enjoyed this series on significance. I know I learned a lot from it myself, and I also know it has had a huge impact on me to get out and work to create more significance in my life and in others’ lives, especially with how it led me to get off my rear end to create my new SlamDunk Significance program.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below about the series and on the concept of significance and what you can begin to do (or continue doing) to become a person of significance in others’ lives.