Prosperity: The Choice Is Yours
December 27, 2002
Making A Difference
By: Robin Grugal
When trying to come up with a list of goals for yourself,
why not start by answering the question: "What kind of
difference do I want to make with my life?"
For most of the great men and women of history,
making money or finding fame wasn't their No. 1 goal.
They wanted their life to have real meaning.
Experts say that desire to make a difference seems
to have affected just how successful they were.
Albert Schweitzer, one of the greatest humanitarians in
history, is one example.
At 30, Schweitzer was a world-famous organist specializing in
compositions by Bach. He began thinking about making a
greater difference with his life.
He read a report on dismal conditions facing Africans in the
Congo and decided to become a missionary surgeon.
He returned to school and spent eight years earning a degree
in tropical medicine. He played concerts on the side to raise
At 38 he loaded his medical supplies on a ship and sailed to
Africa. He transferred his supplies to a small boat and traveled
up the Ogooue River to a thatched village called Lambarene.
There he set up a hospital in the only building available:
an old chicken house.
Within nine months of arriving, he had treated more than
2,000 people who before had no access to modern health care.
He continued his work there for some 50 years, fighting
everything from leprosy to sleeping sickness.
It earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. He used the
$33,000 in prize money to expand his hospital and build a
By the time he died at age 91, his village hospital had
grown to 1,500 patients and 40 doctors and specialists.
Andrew Carnegie was also a man on a mission much greater than himself.
The great steel magnate started out a penniless day laborer
in a Pittsburgh steel plant, but eventually became the richest
man in the world - selling his steel interests at the turn of
the century for $480 million.
Striking it rich was only half of his objective. Throughout
his life, his main goal was to spend the first part of his life
making a lot of money and the second part giving it all away.
As early as 1868, he wrote himself a letter laying out his goals,
including a plan to resign from business by age 35 and
live on an income of $50,000 a year.
Carnegie planned to devote the remainder of his money to
philanthropic causes and most of his time to educate.
He lasted in business almost 30 years longer than planned,
but as he saw it, the staggering wealth he was acquiring
was well worth it.
After the sale of his business interests, he built thousands
of libraries and set up foundations to help people learn
what they needed to be successful and fulfilled.
By the time he died in 1919 at age 84, he'd given away
nearly all his fortune.
"To love what you do and feel that
it matters - how
could anything be more fun?"
~ Katherine Graham ~
Plan Your Life
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are wishing
you a very happy and prosperous coming new year.
The first of the year is traditionally a great time for all
of us to set aside some time and plan our year out.
I challenge you in this coming week to do some serious
thinking about your future.
Most people will take time out to plan their vacation, or
plan building a new home, or the purchase of a new car.
How many people set aside time to actually plan out their lives?
If not, then why not......
If you were going to build a new house yet didn't provide
the builder with any plans, what kind of house do you think you'd
end up with?
If you don't spend time planning out your future, then really,
what kind of future do you think you'll get? What you really
want or whatever happens to come your way?
It's your life. I can't tell you how to live it or how to
plan it out or what to plan for. But I do know that setting
specific plans, gives you some motivation and drive to
accomplish what you really want.
So why not take 1 hour right now and write down some things
you really want to do with your life.
It's a habit that highly successful people all have and
do on a continuous basis.
The man with the plan always succeeds.
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