Think of all the influential people you know either now or in history. People like Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, Jesus, etc. are (or were) people that had a undeniable way of putting others before themselves. They are making (or made) an impact on this world by providing selfless acts of service to the human race. In short, they changed lives on a large scale because they put others first and for that, they were given a platform. They also built lasting relationships and have left a legacy and example for others to follow.
So what about you? You may not be Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, Jesus, etc. but you can make a difference in the lives of others. It starts first by thinking of yourself less. Now before you fly off the handle, I'm not saying you have to neglect yourself but take a moment to replay an average day in your mind. How much of your day is consumed with things that only benefit you? For example, you wake up, get dressed, go to school, eat lunch with your friends, go to your sports practices (or jobs), go back home, eat dinner, do homework, etc. If that is your typical day, how many times do you have an opportunity to put someone else first or think outside yourself? I challenge you to think about others by trying some of the following on a daily basis:
Give someone a compliment.
Invite someone you normally wouldn't ask to have lunch with you.
Tell your parents "thank you" for all they do.
Study with someone that is having a hard time in a subject.
Encourage someone that maybe having a rough time in life.
Do chores around the house without expecting anything in return.
I'm sure you can think of several other ways you can think outside yourself but those are a start. The sooner you realize that the world doesn't revolve around you, the more whole your life will be. This one secret to life has helped so many people find fulfillment and purpose. Besides, you never say "wow, I can't wait to hang out with Bob again. He is always thinking of himself. He never does anything for anyone. He always expects me to pay for his lunch, come to his basketball games, give him a ride to the movies, and do his homework. Bob is really a great guy!" said no one ever. Don't be Bob. Instead, build relationships and leave a legacy by being selfless.
Written 10/18/2014 by John Weaver