Making Your Mark

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

My Aunt Liz used to work at a hockey stick factory, which to a young Canadian boy trying to make a name for himself as a goalie was essentially a dream come true. When there would be minor flaws in sticks, like the paint being the wrong color or logos on crooked they would sell them to employees at a discount.

I like to think that my Aunt loved me so much that she would mess up sticks on purpose so that she could get them for me. In reality I get the impression that she was just incompetent (sorry Aunt Liz).

One day, unannounced, she showed up with 5 or 6 goalie sticks for me. They were free, but something was different about them. None of them were made by the company that she worked for. There were a couple of different brands of stick, but none were from the company my Aunt worked for.

They were sticks that had been used as a pattern for my Aunt’s company to make sticks similar to their competitors. They would use them to match the curve of the blade and the length among other things, but they would still have their own unique logos and other extras that they would add.

It’s alright to pattern your life after someone else, but at some point you have to put your own markings on it. At some point you have to stop being what other people think you are or should be and start being what you believe you were meant to be.

We’ve all heard it before, but sometimes it’s easy to forget. Each of us is unique. Each of us have a purpose and each of us are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

When I look at my own life I’m starting to see how the pieces fit together, how every experience has shaped and continues to shape my life. How the big picture is made up of many smaller pictures. How something insignificant can turn into something very significant further down the road.

Making your mark on the world is not about getting in front of people and declaring your greatness. It’s about doing things the right way time and again, even when you don’t think anyone will notice if you don’t do it right. It’s about making mistakes and then making adjustments and trying again.

Your mark will be made when you least expect it and you likely won’t even know that it’s been made. On that day you’ll no longer fit someone else’s pattern, you’ll be your own.

What mark are you making?

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