Everybody deserves to feel included. What does it mean to you to have everyone included? What was a time you remember everyone being included? How do we train our brain and the brains of others to ‘Exceed Uncertainty’ and, that feeling uncertain is no excuse for inaction? And yes, that is tied in with a whole lot of bravery in order to be able to be shifting mindsets. What helps me train my brain is recognizing other examples of Canadian Difference Makers.
Let's explain the qualities that make someone a Difference Maker.
Let's identify people in your lives who are Difference Makers.
Let’s notice how helping friends & family has an ability to inspire those around us to also be Difference Makers. It is true there is a value and impact of healthy friendships. Together we can identify ways to help others, specifically friends and family.
Today, let’s hear stories that will inspire us to be a leader to create more of those times.
Let’s be reminded why your past does not have to predict your future.
Let’s see what’s possible when you face your fears.
A Difference Maker, so we are on the same page, is an ordinary person who accomplishes extraordinary things by creating positive change in his or her community and in the lives of others. What stands out in this definition for you? For me it is the shocking reality of the words ordinary person.
“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can.” — Sydney Smith
You can each be a difference maker no matter how tall, or small, young or old, black or white, with a disability or without a disability.
So let’s train our brain to be the superhero difference makers that we are. Who do you know that fits the following description: A person who evokes inspiration, courage, excellence, integrity, generosity, compassion? Who are the Difference Makers in your life?. Take a few minutes to write at least one person in your life whom you think is a Difference Maker. Difference Makers do not have to be famous, they are and can be an ordinary person. Difference Makers can be parents, coaches, or good friends who you describe as inspiring, having courage, someone with excellence, integrity, generosity, and compassion. Now I invite you to give them this compliment. Tell them they are a Difference Maker in your eyes and why. Possibly create a Difference Maker medal and award them online or on the phone or in an email that you identify them as a Difference Maker and here is the medal or certificate you made, or simply give them positive feedback.
Two simple steps to train your brain and motivate your March. Step one, recognize a person you know as a Difference Maker and tell them. I promise you, you will feel great too. Step two, I invite you to be a Difference Maker with friends and family too. When you are recognized for making a difference it is a way to be a leader. Blog readers joining me on this journey, identify opportunities where you can be leaders in your homes, schools, either as individuals or as part of a team, and problem-solve for ways to improve your school environment, or church, or club, for the benefit of others and even bigger than your family, or school... Let's be making a difference in our larger community. Feeling scared or unsure how?
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.”
— Helen Keller
Stand up tall, scared or not, take a deep breath, and say ‘Let’s get started! I can do this!’ Here are a few short video stories of how I overcame being bullied that might help give you courage to go for it! https://unstoppabletracy.com/videos/
Do you know about Terry Fox? He gave me courage and inspired me to take action. Terry Fox was a young man who famously ran the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. He was 18 when he lost his leg to cancer and he did the run on one prosthetic leg. Would you say he is a Difference Maker? Answer to yourself : ‘How come?’ Terry’s legacy inspires others to make a difference, and each year Terry Fox Runs across Canada continue to raise money for cancer research. You probably participated in your school.
Did you know I, unstoppable Tracy, was briefly friends with Terry Fox? I was a young girl of about 10 and he was about 19. We both had our prosthetic legs repaired in the same rehab. Terry [Fox] showed me that one person with determination can make a difference. That one person can capture the imagination and goodwill that exists out there.
Train your brain to realize this can be you too! How are we similar and different Unstoppable Tracy and Terry Fox? • Similar: both of us wanted to be PhysEd Teachers, have disabilities, had a friend that helped us reach our goal, saw the importance of setting goals and reaching for our dreams, etc. • Different: Tracy identifies as a female and is still alive/Terry is not, Tracy uses two prosthetic legs/Terry used one artificial leg, Tracy sails/ skis/ scuba dives/ swims/draws/loves dogs/ Terry ran and played wheelchair basketball. How are we similar and different? You and I? What sports or activities or recreational pastimes do you like? Do we like any of the same ones? Did you overcome something difficult as well? Do you have a friend or family member that helps you reach your goals and dreams? Are we both training the brain towards kindness, compassion and empathy, and planting the seed of service leadership together?
As friends, we inspired one another. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDMPr14BJ1c this is a link you can play as a short animation video titled ‘Your Inspiration’ that shows that Terry and the Marathon of Hope inspired Rick Hansen to go on the Man In Motion World Tour in a wheelchair. Where do you get inspiration and who can be the positive impact of friendship for you? Who can you positively impact letting your friend or family member know “You can do it!” Tell your person “I believe in you!” “I will support you in your dream!” How about you make a home video or series of pictures titled ‘Your Inspiration’ and share it with your family, friends, or class.
How are friends Difference Makers in our lives? Hmmm… Friends listen to you, comfort you, share with you, make you feel included, make you laugh, inspire and encourage you to do your best, help you with things that are difficult. Friends encourage growth vs fixed mindsets [only one way or one truth]. Think about how you are, and can be helping friends and family. Do you think myself, Tracy, Terry and Rick would have given each other a Difference Maker medal? How come?
Consider who you will give a Difference Maker medal or award or complimentary conversation to ...a friend, family member, teacher, coach, neighbour? How do your friends make a difference in your life? Do you make a difference in theirs? How can you be a friend to someone who is unlike you? (For example different interests, physical abilities, race, gender, etc.) Think of a time when a new student came to your school, or you were the new student. How are friendships built? Remember, friends listen to you, comfort you, share with you, make you feel included, make you laugh, inspire and encourage you to do your best, help you with things that are difficult. These are difference maker qualities too.
Who is someone that has inspired you? What changes have you made in your life as a result? During this creative train your brain to be a Motivating March, help as many friends and family members as possible. Have you helped somebody before? Way to go! As I am imagining you said YES! Doesn’t it feel great?! I find it SO motivating in return although that is not why I help friends and family. YOU can be Difference Makers by helping others
be a good friend,
a good teammate,
a helpful hand around your home,
Or be someone who takes initiative… Definition of Initiative: making the decision to help yourself or somebody else without being asked. A Difference Maker is very interested in taking initiative in order to help others.
“If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.”— Arabian Proverb
Thank you for being a Difference Maker and joining me in this March blog where together we recognized the value and impact of healthy friendship; we identified ways to help others, specifically friends and family and we recognized your ability to inspire those around you to also be Difference Makers.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James
Expert on Disarming Limiting Beliefs, Oprah Magazine shared her story as Quest for the Gold World Cup Sailor sailing against able bodied men. Now in 2021 a #1 International Award-Winning Business Leader & MegaSpeaker with stars like Jane Fonda and Dr. Phil in over 40+ countries, on multiple TedXs, a TV and Podcast HOST, #1 Bestselling Author, whose forward is written by Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Canada’s Hall of Fame inductee who has 100 million viral video views, BEd, and MBA. Oh, and... she was the 1st four-way amputee to climb the Himalaya Mountains, sail, ski, and scuba dive.