Last week CNN announced their CNN Heroes for 2015. A tradition that began in 2007 finding extra-ordinary people, who use their gifts to make other’s lives better. Each year ten amazing people are nominated, all who are deserving non-profit heroes.
So now its time to vote, the video ballot is below. Take a peek at these amazing people.
To cast your vote go to CNN Heroes. There are too many inspiring stories to share here, but treat yourself to see how remarkable it is, when people use their gifts to make others lives better. Everyone of these nominees are winners already.
“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.”
As we enter this last week of October and all pumpkins point towards Halloween, the season of giving is upon us. Of course, giving shouldn’t be seasonal, but think of the joy you get with simply giving a piece of candy to young trick or treater?
The smile and the joy that comes with the give.
This week enjoy the give, the smile and the moment of being.
As you know I have been thinking a lot about dreaming big and continuing on my quest living a life full of purpose. When I think about the combination of these two together, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of my amazing friend, Ann Louden. Ann is a breast cancer survivor who took her diagnosis and turned it into a purpose fueled mission. The result is her non-profit TCU Frogs for the Cure.
Ann has worked at TCU for over twenty years and over a decade ago when she heard the words, “You have cancer” she knew she needed to do something. As the ultimate connector, she engaged her Fort Worth and TCU community in finding a cure, supporting those with breast cancer and partnering to support the cross town organization Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Her organization was the first to engage college football with breast cancer and now today you can’t tun on a game in October (pro or college) without seeing pink, it all started with Ann. However that dream wasn’t big enough, she went further in creating inspiring music videos with thousands of survivors to bring everyone together in support for this cause. When the videos are downloaded from itunes, the proceeds go to fight breast cancer.
This years video will debut at the Thursday, Oct 29th at the TCU football game vs West Virginia and is aptly done to the song,”Ain’t No Mountain HighEnough.“I cannot think of a better song to describe Ann Louden and all breast cancer survivors journey to overcome and fight this disease.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”
W. Clement Stone
The proverbial “they,” say that the purpose of life is to discover your gifts but the meaning of life is to give those gifts away. The concept in some ways goes against what our capitalistic society tells us. Yet, those people who are the happiest, most fulfilled are exactly those who find their purpose and share it with the world.
Last Saturday night my husband surprised me with tickets to hear the Zac Brown Band play at the Hollywood Bowl. A terrific night of music and fun that became complete for me when the musician shared his dream and vision with a new non-profit he was starting.
Zac Brown is starting a summer camp, called Camp Southern Ground. While I know this is not the time of year to be discussing camp, I loved hearing him talk about his passion for this. Maybe part of that is because as the Executive Director of a summer leadership camp I understand how important and life changing camp is for so many.
I think more than that, was that this popular musician, who used to be a camp counselor, wanted to use his gifts to help others. Camp Southern Ground‘s mission is to help children to overcome academic, social and emotional disabilities to help them reach their full potential.
When thinking about this weeks theme of finding your purpose, I thought sharing Zac Brown’s discovery of his was worth sharing. We all have a purpose and a gift (or two), it is how we chose to share them with others that makes life so sweet.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Living a life full of purpose has been my mission since my mother’s ended so abruptly in a car accident more than a decade ago. While a tragedy, that loss became my blessing and began to show me the why.
The why hasn’t come easily or with a lighting bolt, but rather a slow unraveling of signs that continue to guide me in clarifying my purpose. There are days that I know I am living it and giving all I have to make the world a better place. Those days are the ones when my gifts are used to their greatest potential and the greatest good. But those are often far and few between, it is those other days that the questions persist.
Why? What is my purpose? I want to believe that it is that singular question that drives us throughout our lives. I can only hope that at the end we know that we have given our best, loved deeply, shown compassion and lived a life full of purpose…and perhaps have the answer.
I love big dreams. As I mentioned last week, I am a bit of a dreamer myself. What I love almost more than dreaming is being surrounded by people who think big, have a vision and go for it.
Last week I was in Texas for meetings at TCU and had the privilege of hearing the story of a big dream about football. The dream was about becoming part of the Big 12 Conference. As I listened to the story about this dream, it was clear that in order to make the dream a reality, the vision needed to be shared and the dream needed to become everyone else’s dream too.
Then came the how to achieve it, or the breakdown of the vision and the steps towards the goal. A long path with many on the road of a shared vision and purpose. Of course, it wouldn’t be a happy ending without the realization of the dream and becoming a part of the Big 12 Conference.
Regardless of the dream, these stories refuel me in wondering what are my big dreams? And make me ask myself am I dreaming big enough? I do believe if you dream it, you can achieve it.