Every year or so for decades I have re-visited my life goals, usually during the holiday season. The re-visiting is a prolonged process requiring down-time to peel through emotional layers, connect with my heart, and make life decisions. The last five years has been an exception. Between getting through college and a graduation gift of a colon cancer diagnosis, holiday seasons haven’t allowed for the soul search down time required to revise life goals.
The last time I reviewed my life goals was in December 2008. In that iteration, my top life goal was to “Touch a minimum 1,000,000 lives and help them to move forward, even if it’s just a little bit.” I set this goal because in the day-to-day scheme of life, people get stuck. Helping people get unstuck so they move forward is one of my greatest joys in life. Setting the scope to 1,000,000 people made the goal big, which is an important aspect of life goals.
A few years later, I shared my lofty goal with someone in my church, who asked “How are you going to do it?” I thought for a moment, then answered “I don’t know.” She then asked “How are you going to know you did it?” Again, I thought for a moment, then answered “I don’t know.” As I progressed in school, I completely forgot about any goal other than graduating.
Fast forward to April, 2015, when overextending myself led me to evaluate everything consuming my effort. Creating graphic Facebook posts for the School of Hard Knocks fanpage for the week was sucking up four to five hours on Sunday afternoons. It took time to find meaningful if not profound life quotes that would move people’s minds and hearts enough to comment and share. More time was taken up on a daily basis to respond compassionately and intelligently to comments.
Comments and even messages conveyed thanks for the posts. “I needed to hear that today” was not an uncommon comment. Others said “Thank you for your kind words and support,” and even “Please know that your page/site helped me change my energy/focus from the negative to the positive; I feel like my ‘old’ self again.” The feedback was encouraging, but that wasn’t why I was posting.
The Facebook posts were to drive traffic to the Invisible University School of Hard Knocks store, where internationally accredited diplomas I had designed a few years before could be purchased for $19.99 plus shipping. When orders came in, I had to print the diplomas and run to the post office. The net income per hour invested was slightly above minimum wage.
As I was staring at the fanpage, wondering why I should keep doing posts and selling diplomas, my eyes drifted to the side. There is was: This week. 5,327 page likes, 23.5 million people reached.
23.5 million people reached echoed in my head and triggered the memory of my top life goal made years ago. I was awestruck. I had somehow inspired or invoked thoughtfulness in 23.5 million people in one week alone, which certainly must have helped at least 1,000,000 people make subtle but important changes that improved they way they perceived themselves and life.
Below are some of the recent most popular posts. I hope you find them as thought provoking as those who shared them.
To see more posts, visit the School of Hard Knocks Facebook fanpage.