LEAVING YOUR MARK
By Steve Goodier © 2002
Did you know...?
That Joan of Arc was only seventeen when she was riding at the head of the
army that liberated France from the English?
That John Calvin was twenty-six when he published his "Institutes"?
That John Keats died when he was twenty-six?
That Shelley was thirty when he was drowned, but not before he left English
literature his classic "Odes"?
That Sir Isaac Newton had largely discovered the working of the law of
gravitation when he was twenty-three?
That Henry Clay, the "great compromiser," was sent to the United
States Senate at twenty-nine and was Speaker of the House of
Representatives at thirty-four?
That Raphael painted his most important pictures between twenty-five and
That Mozart only lived thirty-five years?
Of course, most of us will never achieve the prominence of these
extraordinary individuals. Nor should we -- we are each cut from a unique
pattern. But many people feel as if they should be leaving more of a mark on
the world. When I was a young man I wanted to make things happen. After a
few years I realized I would have to content myself with watching most
things happen. Now I often find that I have no idea at all what is
It helps to remember that there is a time for everything -- and
everybody. Our time to bear good fruit may be yet to come. In fact, we may
do our best work, or find our unique place, later in life.
Colorado aspen trees grow vigorously. After the devastation of a
forest fire, frequent occurrences in the Rockies, aspens are sometimes the
first trees to return. They re-forest an area quickly, providing shade for
slower-growing spruce and pine saplings. These evergreens grow slower, but
may live many years longer than the aspens. Each tree grows in its own time.
So does each person. Some people come to fruition quickly, others contribute
more significantly in later years.
If you've not yet come into your own, don't worry. Tend to your work and
aspirations with care. Don't give up; but rather be patient, for growth can
be slow. Remember, storms and disease are devastating, but they can also
prune you and make you stronger. With proper nurture, you will in time enjoy
a full harvest.
There is a time for everything and everybody. And the time to begin is now.
When a group of two hundred executives were asked what makes a person
successful, eighty percent listed enthusiasm as the most important quality.
More important than skill. More important than training. Even more important
Before water will produce enough steam to power an engine, it must boil. The
steam engine won't move a train an inch until the steam gauge registers 212
degrees. Likewise, the person without enthusiasm is trying to move the
machinery of life with lukewarm water. Only one thing will happen: that
person will stall.
A. B. Zu Tavern asserts that enthusiasm is electricity in the battery. It's
the vigor in the air. It's the warmth in the fire. It's the breath in all
things alive. Successful people are enthusiastic about what they do. "Good
work is never done in cold blood," he says, "heat is needed to forge
anything. Every great achievement is the story of a flaming heart."
You may have sufficient skill, training and experience. Add enthusiasm to
those assets and you will be truly unstoppable!
Your Life Support System
P. O. Box 237
Divide, Colorado 80814