“Be significant to yourself, to your family, and to the world!”

I was watching Oprah and I was inspired to write! The show was on people who quit their jobs to go pursue what they love. For example, there was this woman who left her job as a Vice President of a bank to become a trampeze artist because she was miserable as a VP.  She took a 90 percent paycut, but she said she was happier. She said she did not realize that making less money, but doing what she loved would change her life. 

Oprah had a “specialist” on the show who said something interesting about how  if we view our careers as a “purpose” instead of a job we would be happier.  I have to agree with that because as a teacher I see it as my purpose in life to make a difference in the lives of my students. What happened today just reaffirms that belief.  One of my former student from last year came to visit me after school and he said kids were talking about me and saying how I was their inspiration.  He said my students from last year was telling other people in the class how I would motivate them to do their work and how they looked up to me.  Of course, I was touched my their devotion, but what really made me euphoric was the fact that I was the reason they love school and learning.  I truly feel that I am fulfilling my purpose in life by helping my students and those in need which includes family, friends, and even strangers. If I could steal a book title for the story of my life it would be called, The Purpose-Driven Life  which is an actual book by Rick Warren.

I definitely can agree with Oprah that “being significant first to ourselves, then to our family and then to the world” is an important goal and purpose. She believes that once we do that, think of others and then help, everything good in life will come to us in due time. Our life should be purpose driven. In order for that to happen we must first be happy within oursleves. We have to value ourselves enough to be able to do what’s right and what’s going to make us happy.  If we are unsatisfy with our own lives, we can not expect to make  a positive change and impact to our family and world. We are all an instrument of change good and bad.  The magnificence of it is that we have  a right to decide our own course in history.

” Be significant! Be daring! But above all, always be you.”


10 thoughts on ““Be significant to yourself, to your family, and to the world!”

  1. This sort of thing always brings to mind the story of a computer programmer who disappeared without a trace in Michigan in the 1980s.

    He was missing for 6 months, before he suddenly showed up in Texas.

    When asked what happened he explained:

    “I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m a computer programmer, one of the best there is, but I can’t stand programming. I thought about quitting before, but every time I tried to quit they just kept offering me more money. But finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I just had to get out.”

    “Don’t ever become good at something you hate. They’ll make you do it for the rest of your life,” he said.

    And that stuck with me.

    I’m on the record about my feelings about the jobs we take in a lifetime. We’re not defined by what we ‘do’ for a living. We’re more than just a job.

    And we can be anything we want.

    Seeking wealth is not the only thing in life, but if someone did want to make that the sole focus of their being, there’s a way to make millions or even billions in any profession.

    If you wanted to make millions in plumbing, go for industrial-level plumbing.

    If you wanted to make millions in writing, well, write really good books.

    Some make millions by specializing in certain fields of medicine, and so on.

    I don’t want to over-simplify things, but I do want to make it clear:

    Every profession has a ‘high-end’ version of itself, and now what matters most is for people to follow their bliss, what makes them happy, and to make their livelihood doing that.

    But again, lets move beyond mere ‘wealth’ and bank account numbers.

    One should cultivate within themselves true wealth of spirit- the healthy inner life and the community life, and recognize how we are all interlinked in the great sea of being.

    The purpose-driven life is good, but I’m also partial to the exploration-driven life, one that finds joy in the journey itself as much as the destination. Or more importantly a life that is:

    Open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

    Sometimes it is important just to see ‘what happens’ rather than strict regimentation and structuring, telling the universe ‘what to do’.

    Sometimes we need to pause and see: ‘what does it do already’.

    We should recognize that there are a lot of systems in place that require study of how they interact and transform themselves and the world around them. And maybe they’re that way for a reason.

    But definitely some interesting thoughts here. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

  2. Laotian Teacher

    Bryan that is an interesting story about the computer programmer. Thanks for taking a detour from your own life, and living your thoughts and reflection!

    I have to agree that we all can make more money in our profession if we wanted to even me, a teacher. I could go and be a motivational speaker about teaching, write a book, etc. Yeah, it would would nice to get paid more as a teacher, but I’m not obsessed with making more money. I knew I wasn’t going to be making much money in the first place.

    I’m all about letting things run its full course. My life is purpose driven in the sense that I am always challenging myself to learn more about everything in life and about life. I find joy in the simpliest thing like watching the sun break through the clouds after the rain shower. Then watching the moon rise as the sky slowly darkened from bright blues, grays, to midnight black sprinkled with winking stars. Looking at the stars in the sky reminds me of how I am part of a bigger world, a bigger universe, but not any less significant in the scheme of life. I fit into the rhythm of life, but once in a while I’m dancing to my own music and beat because it makes me significant in my own world. 🙂

  3. Khonnie

    I love both your stories and quotes. As a Social Worker-I think my job is purpose driven and that is why I love doing what I do. I also try to do things outside of work that give back to my community, to this world, and of course the best reward is that I give to myself. When I say that I mean when I do something good for someone I feel good about the purpose of my life. I think alot of times we think we need to do something big and significant but the small gestures such as giving a small amount of money to a homeless person, buying a gift for the angel tree during Christmas, giving to a charity organization that needs your help-goes a long way. I have learned that when I give-I always get something in return, whether it is a sense of peace for being able to help others out, realizing that I am lucky that I am able to give, etc.. A favorite quote of mine is “The best portion of a good man’s life is in his little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”

  4. That was beautiful. I wish more people thought of living a “purpose-driven life,” but it seems that our world is full of greed and wanting “more.” I totally agree with what you said about “challenging myself to learn more about everything in life and about life.” Isn’t that what’s living about? Living, learning, growing, experiencing. The more you know about the world, the more you appreciate it.

  5. Laotian Teacher

    I have to agree Khonnie with your quote.
    The best part of life is doing things for others without wanting or needing to be recognize for it. That selfless act is priceless.

    So true Leslie, you are correct, the more we know about the world and what’s in it, the more beautiful we find it. That’s what the problem is, sometimes we fixate on the ugliness of the world and not enough on the grandeur!

  6. amphone

    Wise words teacher. You all probably see this happen right in front of you. I don’t get it. Some people planted their seeds and all they feed them is negatives. In time it grow and grow.

  7. Laotian Teacher

    Amphone, I get tired of people being negative about things, how about you? We should focus on “love, peace, and happiness” like you said in your blog title. Those three simple words should be our mantra for life!:)

  8. Laotian Teacher

    Amphone you are funny! Thanks for the compliment but I am already married. I think you and I get along because we both believe in being positive about everything instead of negative. Life is too short and wonderful to waste our time crying about the little road blocks. Happiness is not just a word to describe how we feel about something or someone, it’s an expression of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. We both are easy going happy people who wants to help others feel the same way. Like Buddha said, “Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”

  9. amphone

    Its great that you are married. Otherwise, look out. Yeah, I agree that if we are happy, we should try to help other be happy. I crack people up just to see them smile. Believe it, some people do have a hard life and have not been happy or smiling for a while. If I can make them smile and forget their trouble, I will get a lot of coupons. Don’t you just hate it, when people can’t stand seeing you happy. They want to struck you down and bring you to their level. I fought with this for a long time. Now, it don’t bother me anymore. I learned how to turn things around. Just like Nye Noona blog said, You have a choice neither be happy or not be…well, something like that.

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