One of my favorite authors on leadership is Dr. John C. Maxwell. I have read many of his books and love the way he writes and speaks with such simplicity. One of the things I will always remember him saying about the impact our lives should have was “leave a footprint, not a butt print.” It doesn’t get any more simple than that, but how many people go through life leaving nothing more than a butt print? I can’t think of a bigger waste of human potential!
Below are a few simple steps you can take to transform your life into a meaningful accumulation of footprints, that not only can help you leave lasting legacy, but a life lived without regret!
Start with the little things!
Recently there have been severe thunderstorms that hit our area. One morning after a storm, I got up to go on my run/walk. The sidewalks were littered with branches. Some of them were big enough to have caused danger to bicyclists and others walking. As I ran, I watch numerous people much younger and more limber than me, walk right over the branches and leave them sitting there. We have elderly people that walk there, younger children on bikes, and babies in strollers. Not one person stopped for a second to throw the bigger branches off the sidewalk. Now there is a perfect example of people leaving butt prints. How simple was it to have picked up one branch? Instead, people walked right over them and kept going. I turned my run into a little clean up fest and removed the ones that could have caused danger. Don’t let the simple opportunities go by to change your butt print into a footprint! Wake up and look around you for those opportunities. I promise you they are everywhere if you just open your eyes!
Turn your “to do” list into opportunities for footprints
Do you get up in the morning and hit the coffee pot then grab a pen and start wracking your brain to develop a list of things you have to do for the day? If you think about it, most things on your to-do lists are mundane and boring. If somebody else were to read your list, would it inspire them? It is not that to do lists aren’t helpful or needed, but I wonder how much more fulfilled our lives would be if we wrote more on our lists related to what we would like to become, rather than mundane things we have to do. What would happen if you became more intentional about writing down one thing every day that would leave a footprint and make a difference? Quite possibly the world would become less littered with the quagmire of butt prints and more inspired by footprints that lead us all toward living more fulfilled and meaningful lives.
Footprints accumulate to make life prints
When you think about a butt print it usually consists of one print that stays in the same place and makes no significant progress. Have you chosen to live your life that way or how can you change to become more intentional about leaving daily footprints. It doesn’t matter how big or small your footprints are, they will begin to accumulate. As they slowly accumulate, you will begin to have greater direction in your life, as well as leave a trail others can follow. Someday the accumulated impact of all those footprints will leave a “life print” or a legacy for others to emulate that you can be proud of. When you look back over time what kind of life print are you leaving? Are you leaving a path to a legacy or a life that is stationary and filled with regret?
As I wrote this blog, I used the metaphor of a footprint to illustrate how leaving small daily imprints can compound into leaving your mark in your own life and the lives of others. However you chose to move yourself forward in life, whether it is using your feet or other means, the same principles still apply. As long as you are breathing you have the capacity to make a difference and leave your mark! Many of us wake up physically but sleep through our lives with our eyes half open. I challenge you to look for every opportunity to leave imprints that will someday turn into a life print that others can follow! Share below what you have done to leave footprints!
BUY INCLUDE ME!
All proceeds from the Include ME! book and donations will go toward our mission of promoting inclusion. Click below to purchase the book.