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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creating and Living a GREAT Life! by: Phil Humbert

What does a GREAT life mean to you? That is one of the most important questions an adult can ask - and answer.
Too many of us never deeply examine that question. We fantasize about having money or fame or raising a family, perhaps owning a house in the Hamptons, but we never rigorously decide exactly what our one and only, unique, GREAT LIFE should look like.

We all know that a great life does not happen by accident. A great life is not easy and it does not come with a diploma, a promotion, getting married (or divorced), having kids or retiring early. It cannot be inherited and it never comes like an accessory with the "goodies" of life. Sure, lots of money, a penthouse apartment, political power or winning the Nobel Prize are wonderful things and I encourage you to aspire to ALL of them.
But none of them will guarantee you a great life.
A GREAT life has a grand purpose, a central theme and a unifying vision. A great life is a lifestyle that is chosen "on purpose" and is lived in the service of a vision greater than itself. A great life is living "a life of one’s own" and it is invested, not merely spent.
Second, a GREAT life makes a great contribution. A great life uses its talents and abilities to make at least one small corner of the world better. A great life stands up, speaks out, and gets things done. A GREAT life makes a difference and leaves the world better than we found it.
Third, a GREAT life leaves a path for others to follow. It is good to do great things; it’s even better to do great things and teach others to follow your lead. 
A GREAT life leaves a legacy. A GREAT life inspires the next generation to go further, reach farther, dream bigger and achieve more.

I am convinced that every one of us has the right to a GREAT life. Greatness is not reserved for a lucky few, for the rich or the powerful, for the artistic or for any small category of people. Living a GREAT life is the birthright of every human being, whether we express greatness in designing tall buildings, or by teaching children to stand tall.
Greatness is our birthright, whether we express ourselves in business or government, in art or music, in parenting, or in any of the thousands of so-called "small" things. Most people remember a special teacher, and many of us had an uncle who taught us to whistle or a grandmother who taught us to read. Perhaps there was a neighbor who taught us to fish, who gave us our first job, or dared us to persevere when things were hard.

I love the story of the "star thrower," about a man walking on a beach after a storm, throwing starfish back into the ocean so they won’t die on the shore. Someone criticizes him for wasting his time, noting there are millions of starfish, and the few he saves won’t make much difference. The man silently bends over, throws a starfish into the surf and replies, "It made a difference for that one."
Set it as your minimum standard to live a GREAT life, to make a difference and have some fun! Eventually, down the road one day, we all look back and assess our life and when that time comes, we want to smile, knowing we did it right. Set that as your standard, and go for it!
I call finding your purpose your ‘WHY.’  Why are you willing to do things that others won’t?  What is driving you towards your greatness?  And, who will be on your team to help you get there?  What vehicle will you use to achieve your freedom?

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