contributionIt’s a mistake to believe your every day actions don’t matter. It’s wrong to think that you don’t make an impact on people. And it’s selfish to keep your gifts hidden from the world. Because your contribution counts.

My son loves books. Since he was 12 months old we have read a minimum of 2 books to him, every night.  He started school this year and now we have the excitement of his library visits, which means he brings home 2 new books every week.

Children’s books are full of analogies, morals and metaphors telling kids they can be and do anything they want.

Stories of ballet-dancing kangaroos tell my son it doesn’t matter what the nay-sayers tell you, if you have a passion for something, go after it.  The story of the hottest boy who ever lived encourages my son to be confident that each of us has unique gifts which, when shared with others, make the lives of those people, and our own, richer and fuller.

Through the books we read together I believe my son is being instilled with a sense that he matters, and that what he does to and for others also matters.

So why do so many of us lose that sense of significance and possibility as we mature into adults? Why do we choose to believe we are not special, that we don’t or can’t make a difference? Why do we let others determine what we are capable of and how we should live our life?

This week a dear friend and coaching colleague of mine died. My friend was gifted with the power of connection, and she possessed immense wisdom and an innate ability to bring out the best in others. Wherever she went, she shone a light on others and their brilliance and uniqueness. She cared deeply about helping people achieve their best life, on THEIR terms.

My friend had a terminal illness and virtually no-one knew. During her illness, she continued to work and change the lives of hundreds of people through her training, mentoring and friendship. She created an incredible ripple effect, which means her work and her legacy will live on for many years to come.  She spent her last few years in life helping others create their best life possible, because she knew that change can happen, one person, and one conversation at a time.

I am deeply saddened and inspired by the death of my friend. I was fortunate to spend time with her last year, in beautiful Byron Bay, which she loved. We shared dinner, a glass of wine, tears and laughter together. She shared many words of wisdom from her journey, that have made a profound impact on me and how I come to accept my own personal situation.  Her death this week has shocked me in how quickly it happened, as she had seemed so well only a few months ago, and made me even more resolute to live life NOW and to shine my light and share my gifts with the world NOW. Because, as clichéd as it sounds, there is no tomorrow. All we have is now.

So whatever you are waiting for, stop. If you hate your job, get a new one. If your relationship isn’t working, either fix it, or move on.  If you are unhealthy and out of shape, get out and take a walk and start to get healthy. And, most importantly, if you don’t know what your unique gifts are, make it your mission to find out and then share them with the world. We need them. We need YOU.

My friend, I will miss you, but I can see your smile in my eye, hear your voice in my ear and feel your love in my heart, telling me to go out and do what I was born to do. I dedicate this blog in celebration of you and all that you brought to the world – you were a real-life change-maker, who knew that your contribution counted, and that it will continue to count in the lives of those you touched.