I'm a firm believer that having a happy, rich, fulfilling life isn't just a one way street. Getting the most out of life means making a positive impact on the world around you as well. Paradoxically, there's a substantial personal benefit (energy and inspiration, a sense of purpose, etc.) to be had when we focus on something bigger than ourselves.
Looking at the past year, ask yourself, "What difference did I make?"
There are a million different ways you can make a difference. What difference did you make with your work? What difference did you make with your family? What difference did you make with your friends? What difference did you make in your community?
What difference do you want to make?
The real benefits don't come from focusing on some big picture, external definition of making a difference. They come from making a "personally meaningful difference," and that's a unique and individual thing. The question isn't, "What do other people think is meaningful," it's, "What feels meaningful to me? What inspires me?" In short, what pushes my buttons?
Take a look at your life over the last year. Where do you want to make more of a difference? What are you drawn to? What have you done that felt particularly compelling?
The more insight you can get on what making a personally meaningful difference means to you, the more you can purposefully incorporate opportunities to do that into your future.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM