Over the course of the last year, I have made it a point to surround myself with like-minded people.  These folks come from all walks of life, and each of them embodies one or more of the values, morals, or life priniciples in which I believe.  Each relationship is different (yet unique), and each holds a bond that isn’t shared by another.

While some of these people have been in my life for longer than a year, others have more recently become an integral part of my life.  One person has grown from a complete stranger, to a coach, to a friend, to a mentor, and to one of the people that I trust the most.  I value his perspectives on life, the authenticity that he shares, and sincere appreciation that he has for life – each and every day.

The person that I am referring to does not complain, does not cast blame, and does not stop taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity that we all share – to live life.

A little over a month ago, this friend and I were catching up with one another over a cup of coffee (likely a couple of espressos as well).  At some point in the conversation, he said something that has stuck with me ever since.  When I’m having a bad day, or things aren’t going my way, I think about this moment, and everything is put into perspective.  It went a little something like this…

“In life, all that we can do is do the best that we can, with all that we have, surrounded by the people who care.  Who can judge us so long as we are doing our best?  That’s how life works.  We think we’re getting the Taj Mahal and we end up at the Holiday Inn.  Do you think that I ever thought I would be diagnosed with a condition that is causing me to lose my vision?  You can’t plan for life, but you can plan how you will deal with the circumstances that you are facing.”

All of us have that ‘something’ in our lives.  It could be something that has come to pass, something that we are working through right now, or something that we will have to tackle in the future.  As we work through these challenges, or come face-to-face with them in the future, it’s important to plan, to strategize, and to take action.  It’s one thing to have an idea and to know what to do in these situations.

But, it’s another thing to have faith.

You see, we can have all the knowledge in the world.  I don’t care what it is, what we know, or what we will learn.  It doesn’t matter to me what the goal is we are trying to accomplish, the adversity we are attempting to embrace, or the struggle we face today.  What matters to me, and what should matter to all of us, is whether we have faith.

It doesn’t have to be faith in a higher being, just flat-out faith – the belief that we can still live life.  Not just any life.  A fulfilling live.  A life of integrity.  A life of endless opportunities.  A life of hope.

If I can do this, and you can do this, and we can do this, then we will truly live.  No matter the circumstance and never mind what could happen.  Because, a little faith can go a long way – especially when you’re surrounded by a group of people who also have faith in you.  It’s that same faith that makes today possible, and ultimately tomorrow.

Whatever is on your plate today, or this week, I challenge all of you to keep in mind one small part of the quote that I shared earlier:

“In life, all that we can do is the best that we can do, with all that we have, surrounded by the people that care.”

What you know is important, but it’s what you believe that can be done that matters.  So when you reach a decisive point, remember, difference makers do thing differently.  Difference makers take action.  Difference makers live.

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