Abraham Lincoln, C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, Clara Barton, Michael Jordan, Eleanor Roosevelt, William Wilberforce, Zig Ziglar, Winston Churchill.
Notice these names. What do they have in common? Yes, they are all famous. Yes, they all have a special place in history. And yes, they are all Proper Nouns. 😉 But again, what do they have in common? Better yet, what makes them Uncommon?
When thinking about Notable Leaders in the past 2-300 years, many Americans conclude that these names are some that stand out from the herd. Their reputations and legacies have forever left a mark on our world leaving a significant impact in their own unique way. They couldn’t be labeled, contained, nor would they allow the world to Limit their Dreams and Talents. What all these names have in common is the choice they made to Live Uncommon. With this choice, they became a Step Above the Rest, they Broke the Ranks, never settling for less than being a Difference Maker. Some would even argue, that these people are so profoundly Uncommon that they deserve to be in a Class of their Own. But my question to you is, “What Class are you in?”
Now, some of you are probably yelling at your computer saying, “I’m in the 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, 13th year of college, etc.” 😉 When we think of the word “class,” we immediately think about what level of education we’re at. Whenever I speak at Graduations or Baccalaureates, it’s always an honor to hear the words, “And now I present to you the Graduating Class of 2013, 2014, 2015, so on and so forth.” But just because we’re sitting in a Class, doesn’t mean we’ve left our mark. The question, “What Class Are You In?” isn’t a question regarding your grade, but a question that demands us to think about our Impact. If you were to examine your life right now, what do you think your Impact would be? Our mark is what we make it, and now more than ever, this world craves for a Positive Impact to be made. Class of What? What will you be known for when the day comes to exit the hallways of your school and university for the final time? What will you be known for when you come back to your Alma Mater years down the road? Our Class is more than just the number of a year, hidden within it is the legacy that could change your school, community, and others lives for the better. Leadership isn’t about how Quick you Rise, but how Long you Last. Don’t just occupy a seat in your class, get involved, let others know you Dream to Go Above the Norm. Class of What?
For many of us School is just starting, let this be the checkpoint to begin Living Life Uncommonly. Remember those names of notable leaders that I mentioned at the top? I believe that one day you too can be in a Class of your Own just as they are. If you want to be known as a Class of Character, than show Character. If you want to be Class that Starts Tradition, then Start the Tradition. If you want to be the Class that stops bullying, then be the Difference Maker and Reach Out to Others. Folks, it’s time to Break the Ranks, because a Desk doesn’t make a Difference, the people who sit in them do. Class of What? Our reputation is everything and is one of the most important things we carry as leaders. We can’t afford to let the world limit, contain, or reprimand our Impact just because its uncommon and out of the norm. Because if we don’t take time for Impact, then Impact will never have Time to Exist. We must choose without reservation what Legacy we hope to leave. People are always watching and you never know whose heart you might be touching. Today I challenge you and me, as we walk across our campuses and sit in our classrooms to Dare to be Different and to Choose our Class. Its time to Live Uncommon in a Common World. Because the world may forget the words that comes out of our mouths, but it will never forget the Footprints of our Heart. Class of What? 🙂