Many people today are uneasy about the state of our world, and that’s a valid concern. The idea that there’s nothing you can do about it, however, simply is not the case.

The truth is, the answer to the turmoil lies within each of us. We have to ask ourselves every day: What did I do today to uplift another person?

Think about the people you encounter in a day: Is it not possible that you could have done more, given more or listened more to people? Of course there is!

Take a quiet hour and dig deep within yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? If you could only speak one more time, what would you say? Why not say it now?

If you want to create a life that fulfills your purpose and leaves the world a better place, here are some suggestions:

  • Being an agent of kindness. When you walk into your local coffee shop or go to work, what can you do to make someone’s day? Pay for coffee for the person standing behind you? Smile and make eye contact with someone passing in the hall? Perhaps the person was having a tough day and by acknowledging them, you’ve made an impact on their lives.
  • Making courageous choices. We make big and small choices every day and some are easier than others. Upon reflection, many people regret the things they didn’t When we die, we won’t be judged against someone else’s life but against our own potential. Did we do the best we could with the hand we were dealt? Wake up every morning and decide one good deed you will do that day and then do it.
  • Seizing meditative moments. Meditate every day to reflect on your own humanity. Use prayers or poems or your own journal writings to think about who you are, your relationships and what you’ve done to make an impact. This gives you an opportunity to consider what you’ve done right, and what you need to correct.
  • Finding faith. The sources of our faith may be in a higher power, within ourselves, or in friends or a spouse who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. We all need cheerleaders in life. Who are yours?
  • Living inspired. Living inspired stems from an awareness that life can change in an instant. Take nothing for granted and don’t assume you’re owed anything. Start a gratitude journal that lists new blessings every day. Harness this day’s full potential.
  • Discovering your renewable energy. Identify your talents and skills, and what makes you smile. When do you feel the most alive? Remember that your life is a gift latent with infinite potential.

Sometimes we think we have to be on the world stage in order to make a difference. But the truth is we all have the ability to choose between good and evil, harm and healing. Your life is a candle. You are a flame. You can ignite thousands of lights in your world every day.


About the author: Rabbi Daniel Cohen has served in the rabbinate for over twenty years and currently serves as senior Rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT, the largest modern orthodox synagogue in New England.  He is also co-host with Reverend Greg Doll of the nationally syndicated radio show “The Rabbi and the Reverend”. He speaks frequently on leading a life of legacy, and is the author of the current book, What Will They Say About You When You’re Gone: Creating a Life of Legacy (Health Communications, Inc.).


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