The Meaning of Life or Have You Identified Your Indelible Mark?
While it is normal for people to be concerned with the here and now, how much time do we really spend reflecting on the enduring mark we want to leave in the sands of time?
For example, in the Middle Ages artisans left their mark to uniquely identify them as the creator of their work, a practice that interestingly enough, is from where the word “character” comes.
Even though our character and mark or brand are one in the same and therefore worthy of consideration because it goes to the heart of our life’s purpose or mission, an even more interesting consideration centers on if we even have the courage to ask the question in the first place?
Of course in reality it is not perhaps the questions themselves that are scary, but the answers including what they tell us about ourselves and our present beliefs and paths. Or in the spirit about being true to yourself, a personal brand above all else requires that you present your authentic self to the world. This is often reflected in the manner in which your service or product is perceived and received by the world.
Being true to your brand may also mean positioning yourself under the radar screen or even going against the grain of popular sentiments, at least for a time, as reflected in the fable of the old man and the star fish . . . although some versions refer to a little girl rather than an old man, the sentiments are still the same.
For those unfamiliar with the fable, one day an old man was walking along the beach and noticed that hundreds of star fish being washed up on shore. Once out of the water the star fish would soon die under the hot sun, so the old man began picking one up and throwing it back into the sea – a seemingly endless exercise that was repeated over and over and over again.
A little boy passing by stopped to ask the old man why he was throwing the star fish back into the sea because it could not possibly make a difference as the waves were washing up as many as he threw back, to which the old man replied: “It may not make a difference overall but, to this one star fish in my hand, it will make all the difference in the world.”
Tying it back into our brand, the old man was being true to his mission at that moment by throwing the star fish back into the sea. While the boy did not immediately recognize the value in the here and now, the old man’s character or brand symbolized both integrity of purpose and a strong sense of service to others. These are two attributes that when recognized will throw open the doors to even greater opportunities as they are much sought after character traits that are always and forever in demand.
So have you identified your indelible mark? How does it link with what you are doing in the here and now to where you want to be in the future?