Those words, on a tote bag given to my wife, Cheryl, at her 50th college reunion, struck me with incredible force. Cheryl graduated from Wheelock College in Boston and an assumption I made in accompanying her on this trip was that I would be meeting a group of retirees reminiscing about the past. Whilst there was some sharing of memories, as quite a few of these women had not seen each other since graduating, I was amazed as to how many of them were still energized by what they could do to continue to make a mark on the world.

They had not retired--they had re-fired!

The women remained deeply committed to the beliefs and values of the founder, Lucy Wheelock, whose words decorate the wall of a college meeting room: “The one thing that makes life worth living is to serve a cause, and the greatest cause that can be served is Childhood Education.” Those words were written 130 years ago, and since then thousands of teachers and social workers have left Wheelock to positively impact the lives of millions of children.

I came to understand that the most powerful motivator in the world is a cause when I produced the film: The Power of Purpose. When people align behind a worthy cause, barriers are blown away and mountains are climbed. Mission impossible becomes mission possible as people rise to new levels of collaboration, contribution and commitment. With due respect to Lucy Wheelock, there are many inspiring causes in the world that need people willing to serve.

Although I am involved with several non-profits that do wonderful work for the community, my experience also suggests a well-run business that operates ethically, which is conscious of the imprint it is making, where employees feel cared for, where they have an opportunity to provide for their families and secure their retirement, fulfills a critical need in society.

But, back to the question: “Are you tough enough to inspire a world of good?” I would like to answer unequivocally “Yes!” It is, however, not the answer I can easily give. The forces of negativity are relentless and seem to go all out in attacking my courage. So, each morning I reframe the question: “Are you tough enough today to inspire a world of good?” Taking it one day at a time ensures I am making a commitment I know I will keep.

The Wheelock College web site states the following: “In a world of injustice, nothing changes until someone is tough enough to challenge the existing order. Most people find it's easier to look the other way, but there are always a few bold souls who simply can't. They are the ones who stand up, speak out, sit in and refuse to give up. They are the humble champions committed to changing the world, one person at a time.” 

“Are you tough enough to inspire a world of good?” was the brainchild of a Wheelock student. I could write more but why not let her speak for herself.

Watch video: “Are you tough enough to inspire a world of good?”

MARK OF AN EAGLE—How Your Life Changes the World by David McNally

Goodreads rating 5 STARS! “Very inspiring. I loved the discussion of finding a purpose and leaving your mark on the world. It made me realize that life is less about what you get out of it and more about what you leave behind.” – Rob

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