Opinion

Making a Difference?

William James quote

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

– William James

What does ‘make a difference’ mean to you?

There’s a popular story about the Janitor who met President Kennedy at NASA in 1962, and when JFK asked him what he did replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

The janitor connected his purpose with the bigger purpose of safely landing a man on the moon and returning him to Earth.

I’m sure we don’t remember bigger purposes every time we act. I don’t think I’m helping to save the planet when cleaning out my food recycling bin, I’m only thinking it’s a smelly chore.

But, there are times when I do reflect if I’m making a difference. The difference I make may not be earth-shattering but it will be life-changing. Life-changing to me at least.

How I perceive what I do makes a difference in my action. Like most of us, I have more drive when a task is something I’m looking forward to doing. The trick is to have motivation when you’re less enthusiastic about a task – and this is where the quote comes in…

Act the part to become the part.

For example, if you’re dreading the day ahead of you, start with a shower and force yourself to grin-madly. Nobody is watching. It’s so ridiculous you will begin to genuinely smile.

Try it.

Prove me wrong.

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