You might be like me. Growing up I wanted to be famous, to play major league baseball. I wanted to be recognized and important. Those dreams were replaced along the way with the reality that I couldn’t hit a curve ball and very few people get to play major league baseball. So, I accept that there won’t be a statue of me anywhere commemorating my life. I’ve never been famous which allows me to eat anywhere and not be mobbed by adoring fans. Where I’ve worked or served in some capacity there isn’t a conference room with my name on it, only my signature on historical documents and today I doubt anyone will understand their importance. I don’t recall there was ever a press release about me, and I doubt there ever will be one.

It is easy to feel insignificant in our world today. But it’s not true, we matter and are important.

Here’s what I know that is true for all of us.

 I may not be an important person by the world’s standards, but I have an important job to do each day and I will do it well.

We weren’t put here on this earth just to do things for ourselves. Significance (meaningful & important) in life comes in doing for others, whether it is your job, volunteer work or as a spouse or parent. It means within your sphere of influence, giving whatever you do your best efforts. Please note that I said, “do it well”, not “perfectly”. For those of you with perfectionistic tendencies (me included), perfection is an illusion, and it can rob you of joy.

A good goal to live by would be one my parents always reminded me of, to leave everything better than you find it. If you want anything to be better because you were involved, you must be invested. What does it take to be invested? Here are four that I’ve tried to live by, and you can too.

Effort – Give your best at whatever you do, regardless of whether you are paid or not. You may not always be successful or hit your target, but it should be your best effort. Don’t make a token effort.

Personal – You can’t be invested in something and remain at a distance. It needs to be personal for you. That means you have relationships with others. It means getting to know them and letting them get to know you. Yes, it might even mean you become vulnerable and let them know you are human and not perfect.

Care – The worst words I’ve ever hear are “I don’t care.” If you really don’t care, I don’t want to be around you. If you are truly invested in anything, you must care, not just about the results, but about the people you are connected to, typically those you are serving or those you work with. Care passionately.

Honesty – People deserve to know what you really think or believe about whatever you are dealing with. You can’t hold back and not tell them the truth just because it might make you unpopular, or it may mean more work for yourself. I’ve found that everyone doesn’t love honesty, but they always respect someone who can be trusted in being honest.

My life, like yours, is one of significance. I know there are countless people who remember me (even if I don’t remember them), and I was important in their life because I did the work entrusted to me very well. My work may have made their job easier, I may have opened a door for them, or showed them something they didn’t think could be done, could be done. I may have encouraged them, supported them, or partnered with them. In some manner, I was invested in them.

If you want significance in life, always give your best.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. Colossians 3:23 GNT

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