Saturday, July 28, 2012
Become A Difference Maker
In a recent USA Today issue, they listed a Pew Research poll on how readers got their most recent book. Borrowing from a library was listed as 14%. I would like to see that number grow higher as libraries are a wonderful place to pick out books that interest you. Today I want discuss a book I borrowed from my local library in New Braunfels, Texas. The book is Making a Difference by Being Yourself by Gregory E. Huszczo.
One reason I wanted to read it was that perusing through it, I noticed the author was focusing in on the MBTI, (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory). Although personality inventories have received a bad rap from some I do believe from taking them and studying them, they do offer helpful insights in understanding ourselves better. The author helps in this book to show how the personal insights gleaned by knowing our personality type can help individuals grow in their work relationships and personal relationships.
Think over the phrase “making a difference”. In living a life more than ok, having an attitude of making a difference is a motivator to move us beyond just existing. The author brings out in the text, that starting with the desire to make a difference helps in giving meaning and fulfillment to our lives. As he states in the book, “The More we notice opportunities to make a difference and push ourselves to rise to the occasion, the better we will feel about ourselves as well as life in general” (Page 7). Living this way gives our lives meaning and purpose.
The book discusses how making a difference is based on three parts in our life: our abilities, our motivation, and opportunities that come up in our daily lives. The more we know the unique elements of our personality type we can understand how to use our abilities in our interactions to make a difference. The primary realms we can make a difference is in our work and in our relationships. It is all about how we touch other people’s lives. That is how we make a difference.
Think over how we can help make a difference. In the book the author gives a list of ways we make a difference in work or relationships to help the reader brain storm other ways they have or can make differences in lives around them. Here are some items from the list: solving a problem, being a role model, motivating others, resolving a conflict, team building, caring for others, reducing stress in a situation. As you consider the list of items you can probably think of other ways of making a difference.
As we understand how our unique personality traits work we can be effective in making a difference. Based on our personality type we all attack problems differently, we care for others differently, we team build differently. The key word is different. Personality is not about right or wrong it is about our unique strengths we each bring to the opportunities in dealing with things in life differently from the next person.
We can only imagine how better life in the world would be if each of us took the viewpoint of making a positive difference in our workplaces and relationships. It would create a more giving environment instead of a passive, “I’m sure someone else will do it” or worse yet, the victim mentality we see too often today of “why doesn’t someone help me. It’s not fair!”. Difference makers seek to improve other people and situations around them. The positive paradox is that the more we give and serve the more we will find our lives more fulfilled rather than empty.
I encourage you to explore the author’s book website -- www.makingadifferencetype.com and look for his book at your local library or local bookstore.
Reflection: This is based on one of his reflections in his book. Write down on a piece of paper several examples of when you have made a difference at work. Then Write down on a piece of paper several examples of when you have made a difference in personal relationships. Think over these times. How did they make you feel? How did these experiences affect those around you and yourself in a positive manner?