March 19, 2013 by Diana M
This past Sunday I found out that a friend of mine was in a stage 4 coma and declared brain dead. Even though the family still hoped for a miracle, I knew that brain dead meant actually being dead, and that the machines were the only thing keeping you alive at the moment. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. There was no car accident, no long-time illness either; doctors are still trying to figure out how a seemingly healthy 20-year old could just crash like that. And even though we weren’t that close, I am still calling her my friend, because she did mean something to me -still does actually.
This girl was immersed in a lot of activities; she was taking up two majors, was a volunteer at AIESEC, one of the biggest student organizations in the world, did theater before that, and now every Saturday she would meet with other programmers to teach children how to code at Coderdojo. She had friends all over the world, and in just 20 years of life, she managed to do so much more that people twice her age haven’t achieved. And all I can think about is how much more she could have done, if she was granted the time.
I know we all lost someone important at one point in our lives, so I would like to take this time and this writing space, to remember those people, to remember their dreams, and remember that their death was not in vain, their deaths meant something to us, they stirred something in us.
Those important people, together with their hopes and dreams and wishes, will live on, because we will make sure to continue what they started and carry on their legacy.
Here are 10 things that you could do to ensure you will leave your own print on our world.
1. Little things
It all starts with something simple. Do you remember the movie Pay It Forward? It was the simple actions of a young boy that managed to cause such a big ripple and change so many lives. Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that mean the world to us. An ‘I love you’ note left in a coat, a smile to a complete stranger, a listening ear to someone in need; no matter how small, these things still matter, and they always will.
Whether you choose to take some clothes to a homeless shelter, volunteer to teach English to children or simply give 1 dollar to someone who really needs it, no matter the size of it, kindness will always make someone’s day brighter. Here are 21 examples of kind gestures that will warm your heart.
Passion rubs off quite easily. When you’re passionate about something, your eyes get this sparkly light to it, your smile seems bigger and brighter, it’s like your entire body is giving out positive energy, and the people who are sitting next to you will see it, feel it, and want to have it. Passionate people will go to great lengths to fulfill their dreams, and even without realizing it, they’ll inspire those around them to do the same.
4. Smiles and laughter
These are two of the best things in life, and guess what? They are free and contagious. So give it to other people whenever you have the chance to, all the time if you can. They will be thankful, and they will give it back to you. And remember this: lives have been saved with something as small as smiles and laughter.
What would our lives be without our dreams? To want to experience new things, to want to achieve great things, to want to live your life to the fullest. People with dreams are immensely beautiful, and at times they’re lucky enough to find other people to share those dreams with. Sometimes they marry them, sometimes they befriend them for life, other times they just pop in their life, change it, and leave to pop into someone else’s life. So dream big, share your vision, and don’t stop until they’re reality.
When you have found something to strive for, you have your dreams, you have your passion, you have a positive attitude, then you’ll most definitely find inspiration in everything around you. And even more than that, you’ll inspire those around you, at times even without knowing. You’ll stir up something deep inside of them, that will surface and turn into their own will to someday be a positive example to someone else.
It takes courage to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. It means you have to stand your ground in tough times, disagree with people around you, fight for what you believe in, and it definitely means not giving up. It’s not easy, it never was and never will be. But successful people, the ones that the world will not forget, are the ones who had the courage to want and to act upon a change. They started the change deep within, and threw it out there in the world for everyone to criticize. They are the crazy ones, the ones we will remember.
When life hits you hard and throws you in the mud, when you experience rejection, criticism, ridicule, or failure, you get to have two choices: you either remain where you are or you step forward. It takes a very strong will power to keep calm and carry on, but people who are determined to achieve something never stop, no matter what the hurdle. Take Steve Jobs for example. He explains the hardships of his life together with what he managed to succeed in his Stanford Commencement speech; you can watch the video here.
If you want to believe in making your dreams reality and making sure you are someone who will make a change in this world, then you have to start believing in yourself first. If you don’t think you can do it, how will you convince everybody else that you can? If you doubt your own strength, how will everyone see what you’re really made of? If you don’t believe in your own light, how will your shine be seen by those near you? Believe in yourself, believe in what you can do, and others will believe too.
10. Leave your print
Whatever you do, whichever road you choose to go, make sure you leave your print. Whether you wish to be a successful writer, or create the most delicious cakes, be a constant traveler or a public speaker, a programmer or an accountant, make sure you leave your unique print on those you interact with, on the things you do, on how your gift will affect people, on what you will ultimately leave behind. Because in the end, what you leave behind is what people will remember of you.
Like Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
PS: Anca left us at 3 am on Wednesday, March 20th in 2013. She was a little force of nature that will be remembered.