What’s your story?

When I meet people for the first time, as soon as the introductions are out of the way, I ask them to share their stories—to tell me who they are and where they’re from, where they’ve been and where they’re going. I want to understand what matters to them. Maybe you do the same. The telling of our stories becomes an emotional connecting point for us. It bridges the gap between us and other people.

Why is that?

Everyone loves a good story—we always have. Stories tell us who we are. They…

Inspire us.

Connect with us.

Animate our reasoning process.

Give us permission to act.

Fire our emotions.

Give us pictures of who we aspire to be.

Stories are us.

Every day millions of people watch movies, read novels, and search the Internet for stories that inspire them or make them laugh. Every day we listen to our friends tell us about the dramatic or funny things that happen to them. Every day people take out their smart phones to show pictures and share stories. Stories are how we relate to others, learn, and remember.

I believe that no matter what “plot” each of our stories may follow, deep down we all want one thing. We want our lives to matter. We want our stories to be of significance. So here are two more questions:

Do you believe you can live a life of significance, that you can do things that really matter? Can you make your story great?

With all my heart, I believe the answer to these questions is yes. You have it within your power to make your life a great story, one of significance. And don’t let the word significance intimidate you. I’m not talking about being famous. I’m not talking about getting rich. I’m not talking about being a huge celebrity or winning a Nobel Prize or becoming the president of the United States. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but you don’t have to accomplish any of them to be significant. To be significant, all you have to do is make a difference with others wherever you are, with whatever you have, day by day.

As you probably know, my new book Intentional Living came out earlier this month. In it, I share my own significance story, plus practical teaching and tools that will help you write your story of making a difference.

One thing you might not know, however, is that we have also created a resource to help you discover how to make your life count. It’s called The 30 Day Journey, and it’s a chance for you to experience intentional living – by learning from daily video lessons from me, plus practical ideas for small but significant acts that enable you practice making a difference in the lives of others right away.

One of the most exciting parts of the The 30 Day Journey is the opportunity we give you to share stories of significance with members of a community. This is my favorite feature, because I love seeing how people like you are already making a difference with your family, friends, colleagues, and people you don’t know. Here are just a couple excerpts from the stories people are telling about their journey of significance:

This was my first time to intentionally talk to a stranger on the bench. To see how happy he looked that somebody actually cared for what has happened to him made me feel alive and connected. I want more of that….to be continued.   -Ebony Fagbuyi

I am now beginning to lead my thoughts and actions to speak encouraging words through listening, not just with my ears, but with my eyes, senses and my heart. I find as I focus on others, to discover how I can add value to them (my children and family first), it brings great joy and a discovery of who I truly am and who I’m called to be!!   -Vernon Andrews

I am going to make a habit of doing these things on a daily basis: 
1) Chose to speak positively about your circumstance.
2) Remember: There is more than enough for everyone.
3) Spend time with other people with an abundance mindset.
Growing up in a home where my grandparents had survived some dark times… we were raised with a scarcity mindset. In order to reprogram my way of thinking, I need to change my way of thinking.  
-Nelson Salgado

Reluctance is often our enemy in life. We can talk ourselves out of anything before we even think about it!! I have argued over and over in my head for several weeks and decided I would rather be a risk taker and jump into the river of life. It never runs dry. It is so amazing that when you jump into the river you will never jump into the same water twice. So why not jump?   -Missy Monokian

If you’re like me and want to make a difference and have a significance story to tell, the first thing you need to do is be willing to take an important step forward. And that comes from a willingness to start writing your story by approaching your life differently.

I hope you’ll join me on The 30 Day Journey. You will receive a copy of Intentional Living and access to all the material we’ve created, along with all the inspiring stories that you want to read. And you’ll be able to share your own story, to inspire others.

No matter what, I challenge you to identify one single action you could take today to start rewriting your own story. Share that in the comments. As Doug Horton says, “Be your own hero. It’s cheaper than a movie ticket.”


  1. John Dietz on November 15, 2018 at 6:12 am

    From Survival, to Success to Significance to Legacy

    It’s not as easy as it sounds and not everyone completes the journey and no one makes it to the top on their own. “If I have accomplished anything in life it is only because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.”

    The first 20 years of my life were about survival. Life was hard, wait – it was really hard. The next ten years were about rebelling and having fun. I know, you’re supposed to do that in your teens. Lets just say, I was late to the party. The next 15 years were about success. Monica and I started a family, KeyMark Fundraising was my first experience in 30 years achieving success, making money and feeling like I had finally found something I was good at. Most of you don’t know the story behind the story but remember, life was hard. From 1992 when Monica and I were married to 2007, everything we did worked, we made lots of money and had a great time along the way – but we were stuck in success, actually, I’m not sure we even knew what significance and legacy meant. Over the next three years and three very stupid mistakes, all my own choices by the way, we lost everything. Our business failed, we lost our home, the Real Estate Market crashed and we went $500,000 in debt. The next 10 were about digging out of the giant hole we found ourselves in and I was back in survival mode. Then, in what seemed like a blink, we went from survival to huge success as one of the top 5 Realtors in our market, an offer to become the Team Leader for a new KW market center in Coral Springs and all of a sudden life is good again. In the next 12 months, Lacey was diagnosed with Non Hoskins Lymphoma, we took a significant cut in income to build this amazing new KW market center and between the cost of Lacey’s care and added expenses of supporting two homes, one in Palm Harbor where Lacey would spend the next 12 months in and out of All Children’s Hospital with 52 weeks of Chemotherapy, the money we had saved to start a new life and build a new business in Coral Springs was gone. Not only were we back in survival mode again as a family but our daughter was literally fighting for her life. Now as Paul Harvey would say, “now for the rest of the story, The last three years have been the best three years of my life. Why? Great question! Lacey beat cancer, Praise God, Monica and Lacey were able to move to Coral Springs with me, Collin and Kristy were married and are building a beautiful family and that new business we moved to CS to build has grown from launch in 2014 to one of the top 5 KW market centers in South Florida in four years. Other than Lacey beating cancer, the best of the best over the past three years was discovering a life of significance and legacy. Actually, by the worlds definition of success, we are still living a life of survival as we dig out of another hole. This time though, it’s not about success. Life over the past three years and for as long as my heart continues to beat has become a mission to serve others and leave a legacy. I hope that my parents would have been proud of me. I will leave you with this, my only goal now is to hear at the end of my life, “well done good and faithful servant.”

  2. Pushpa on January 1, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Hello, i have just gone through the most painful event in my life journey, something which i had never thought i would ever have to go through feeling that i had had my share of dark events. The ultimate betrayal got me to question my faith, when i had used God to be my witness. Having lost everything again, the 3 closest people to me, been bankrupt, never ever had a true friend, orphaned, betrayal by those who you thought were yours and the ups and downs in my faith and ability – Separation was the single most difficult times in my life, yet it comes back again again and again. I am not sure this time round, what the universal is trying to teach me again.
    I am simple and have always reached to help others and i believe God may have let me go through this journey so that i can honestly say to the world, yes i have personally gone through this journey of pain, confusion, betrayal, no funds, lost and the doubts. I have no one to go and always looked for the way for myself, i still cannot understand i have made it this far, without ending my life, having a major breakdown or finding ulterior motives to live rather than still seeking God out. I pray that God directs my friend, my teacher, my master to me so that i can have support and guidance in fulfilling the purpose he has destines for me.

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