Attended a very unique fundraiser event hosted by HOBY Los Angeles (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership), called Magic Makers. Hand-selected youth from around the nation participated in a fast pitch competition with the opportunity to share with the public their grand ideas on creating social impact. Ideas ranged from developing an app to help individuals become philanthropists by donating a few cents per shopping purchases (very similar to Round Up For Charity) to curating a collection of unused sports equipment to be sent to countries where youth has no access to such items.
The night was certainly all sorts of magical, especially considering how some of the alumni have gone above and beyond their average peers working with the community. A favorite line from the night, “make a dent in the universe” as quoted from the late Steve Jobs. Changing the world is not an easy feat, but when there are programs, like HOBY, that touch the lives of nearly 10,000 students nationwide every year, MAKING A DENT IN THE UNIVERSE is possible.
The fundamental mission of HOBY and being surrounded by charismatic youth reminded me of myself and how it is that I can wake up feeling grateful every day. At HOBY, and through its late founder who recently passed this September, actor Hugh O’Brian, the belief is that leadership is not a matter of power, position or title. Leadership is about action and perspective. When we view ourselves as leaders, which every one in the universe is capable, we become empowered as catalysts for change in our community. I recognized this as a young age as I became involved with student leadership ever since elementary school. As a very young child realizing that I could serve as an emblem of leadership for my peers, I understood that my purpose in life was to serve the community.
This understanding has guided my success over the years and thought I’d share with you a few tricks I use to wake up grateful every day:
RECOGNIZE YOUR PURPOSE IN THE UNIVERSE
This calling does not happen immediately or over night, but reflecting on the potential social impact you can make in the community and realizing that you play a greater purpose and a lasting role in this world is sure to not only boost self-esteem, but also propels you to put yourself in a higher regard when thinking about how you can make a difference.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Literally-count them! Acknowledging the many wonderful things you have going on in your life helps achieve humility and serves as a perfect daily reminder of how precious life really is. The next time you are anxious and cannot focus, try this: for 60 seconds, focus on breathing slowly in and out, then think about three things you are grateful for. Shifting your perspective will improve your approach or way of thinking on what it is you might be stressed about.
PRACTICE THE ART OF GRATITUDE
The art of gratitude is simple and doable for everybody: identify a few individuals (try 3-5) to reach out to during the week and let them know why you are thankful for them. It could be a Facebook wall post, a Tweet, a phone call, a text message, a hand written letter, the methods are endless. What you will find is that this little task often has great rewards: it will activate generosity. When that happens, you can only guess what it ends up being – a catalyst for change that you ignited not only for yourself, but for another individual.
DISPLAY KINDNESS TO OTHERS & COMPASSION TO YOURSELF
Picked up these exact words from one of my Yogi tea bags some time last week. The essence of the phrase is to remember to nurture and nourish yourself. If YOU are going to be a servant and leader of the community, if YOU want to truly wake up grateful every day, you must practice compassion with conviction when it comes to loving yourself. Because the value you put in yourself will exponentially manifest into the gratefulness your express.