Defining Who You Are

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When I came across this quote, I thought to myself this sums up my answer to one of the biggest questions I have get when I meet people who find out I write leadership books and produce some of the biggest names in business for CNBC’s Squawk Box. It is a simple answer but to achieve this answer is no easy task. Legacy means more than wealth.

I am a big people person. I love meeting new people and spending time with my family and friends. In my profession as a journalist I am lucky to meet a lot of people. I have met my share of not so nice individuals and honestly, I don’t care if you are a billionaire. If you’re a jerk, you’re a jerk. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. Yes, they may made by a “better” designer, but money can’t buy you class or kindness.

No matter how many zeros you have in your bank account, you are no better than the next person. I think that’s why when a famous person gets kicked down, people relish in it.

The footprints you leave on this earth are like tattoos. What kind of meaningful mark do you want to make?

You don’t have to sign onto Warren Buffett’s “giving pledge” to make a difference. In fact, it’s the simple, free things that go a long way. Holding a door for a stranger, getting your head out of your phone to say hi, give a smile or even saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes goes a long way. These are just some things my husband and I are trying to teach our kids. Compassion and consideration are two of the most valuable traits to have in this world and I am floored at the level of rudeness and unkindness that I see in both my professional and private life every day.

Am I without fault? Hell no. In fact just last night as I was on a family walk, towards the end I started to email a guest trying to book them for Squawk Box to talk about Egypt. My husband and kids called me on it. Reminding me– A) this walk was my idea and B) the email could wait a few minutes to finalize the booking. I put the berry back in the pocket of my shorts.

Actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, do what I do versus what I say leave impressions on our children and they mimic what they see or hear.

If you look back at your life, how would you define yourself? My kids watch Disney Channel and one of their social promotions is “Make Your Mark”. What do you do to make your own mark?

I try to use my experience in journalism for good and I always include my kids so they can see first hand how to make a difference. For me my two biggest causes are children and poverty. From being a board member of The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation (www.rosebrucia.org) which provides free stranger safety programs to parents and schools around the world, to creating the Spirit of Christmas Shoppe which gives food pantry recipients the gift of giving- allowing them to “shop” with a personal shopper in a store we create for Christmas (all items are donated and they don’t pay a cent).

The gift of giving I think is one of most power presents to give to a person. How often do we take for granted that we can go into a store and decide on which present to buy someone? It’s a very powerful ability. I can’t tell you how many people have sobbed for joy that they are given that opportunity and the volunteers along side of them sharing a tear with them as well. This has left an impression on my oldest son who will even sneak in an hour of volunteering before his hockey game.

Life is not without it’s sets of challenges and we have all faced adversity (some more than others). The decisions we make to face those challenges and the paths we choose in life are of our own will. Too often in life we now hear one excuse after another of why someone did something wrong and giving them a pass. We need accountability again as a part of our moral compass. It all goes back to how we define ourself.

When you leave this world how do you want to be remembered? I hope to be remembered as a mom, wife, philanthropist and journalist.

Your answer to this question is up to you.

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2 Comments

Filed under Building Your Knowledge, Foundation, Foundation: Getting to Know You, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Defining Who You Are

  1. Lisa Poff

    Lori Ann:
    Your words today are a great reminder that we are all put on this earth for a purpose greater than ourselves. Those actions, great or small can have a profound effect on others in ways we may never fully know. Thanks for reminding me to work on my legacy everyday!

    Like

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