You can make your mark on the world, if you kick expectations through the door, find your passion, view each day as the last chance to pursue your goals and use your skills and talents effectively. Making a mark on the world is hard. You have to be determined. You have to resolve not to be defeated by challenges and obstacles.
Making Your Mark on the World is Hard
“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes
patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not
whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into
inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” ― Barack Obama
Hello friends, it is Wednesday and it is the middle of the week. I hope you are having a great week. On
Monday I had a great meeting with representatives of one of Canada’s big 5 banks. We spoke
extensively about regulatory changes and the impact on financial institutions’ operations. On the subject
of financial services I am sure you would have heard by now that JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to
pay $13 billion in a landmark settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. JPMorgan acknowledged
that it misled investors about the quality of risky mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial
crisis. It is the largest settlement ever between the U.S. government and a corporation. My friends I
share the news about my meeting on Monday and JPMorgan’s massive settlement to tell you that I have
made it a part of my life’s purpose to make a smallcontribution to the safety and soundness of global
financial markets. The ultimate goal of my contribution is to safeguard the interest of users of financial
services. In directly I am protecting you, your savings, investments and pensions! It is a tough job!
Please allow me to share some thoughts on making a mark on the world. Each us reach a point in our
lives when our single most important goal becomes trying to understand our life's purpose. We ask
ourselves the questions “Why am I here?” or “What is my purpose in life?” or “What will my legacy be?”
Most successful athletes such as Usain Bolt, Lebron James, Sidney Patrick Crosby, Chris Gayle and
celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Eminem and outstanding leaders in governments and
businesses will tell you that making a mark on the world is hard. Yet we all strive to leave a legacy. Why
do we strive to make a mark on the world? It is simple. Innate in each of us, somewhere deep inside our
subconscious mind, we do not want to pass through this world quietly.We do not want to be unnoticed.
We want to be remembered long after we have gone from his world. However, mark my words we are
not all going to be Steve Jobs or even my idol Nelson Mandela who is today ailing in South Africa.
Although we will not all be remembered like men such as Ghandi or Martin Luther King or women like
Rosa Parks or Eleanor Roosevelt does not mean we should not strive to make our own little mark on the
world. If you would like to make a mark on the world do not let others determine what you should or
should not do in life. Kick stereotype and expectations through the door. You have to clear your mind
and truly assess what will make the most sense for you and your legacy. Yesterday in an email exchange
with my daughter, Marchelle, I reminded her of the importance of not letting others determine who is
or what she becomes. I reminded her that if we stand for nothing we will die for nothing. The reason for
my email was to merely remind Marchelle that in the pursuit of our passion and the pursuit of happiness
we should not let others stand in our way. We should move steadfastly towards our goals with little
patience or tolerance for naysayers and time wasters.
In order to make a mark on the world, you have to blaze your own trail. What is meaningful to you?
What activities do you enjoy? What are your ideas and ambitions? By answering these and other
questions you will better understand the things that drive you and full you with passion. Your passion
has to be blended with a strong conviction to preserve in the face of enormous challenges and
obstacles. I recalled my early days as an immigrant in Canada. I remember the obstacles I faced and the
rejections I received in my attempts to secure employment in the financial services sector. Rejections
have a way of leading to a sense of dejection. If you allow it, it will eat away at your self-confidence and
self-esteem. It can make you feel worthless and useless. However, in my experience as immigrant I was
not prepared to be defeated.
Each obstacle I faced tested my innermost strength and resolve. It bolsteredmy determination and
commitment not to be shackled by stereotype and expectations but rather to seek out other avenues to
make my contribution to financial services.When all the doors appeared closed to me in Toronto
financial district I seized the moment and used the opportunity to form my consulting practice, Mark
McKenzie Consultingand traveled the world building capacity and providing technical assistance as part
of my contribution to stability in global financial markets.
In our quest to make a mark on the world it is very easy to succumb to the challenges and obstacles that
we face. If our basic needs according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are not satisfied we easily become
caught up by the demands of life to surviving from day to day. Survival becomes our single focus. We
lose sight of our purpose, mission and ambitions in life. I have been there. I have experience the agony
of mistakes and failures. I have fallen but refused to be defeated. I refused to be defined by my mistakes
and failures although they have taught me some very important lessons in life. I start each day as if it
will be my last day on earth and the last opportunity to achieving my goals and making a mark on the
world. If you ask me how I am able to remain positive each day I will tell you it is by pure determination.
My skills and experiences in financial services have given me an opportunity to make my small
contribution to stability in global financial markets. However, I have other passions and other ambitions.
Let me share an experience with you. In January 2009, about two months before my mother died, I was
sitting with her at home in Kingston, Jamaica. Her sight was ravaged by the effects of diabetes that led
to cataract and glaucoma. On that particular day I asked my mother if she remembered my smile. I
remembered as a child how she loved when I smiled. She would always tell me I had a lovely smile.
However, in her ailing state with deteriorating memory and lost sight she told me that she did not
remember my lovely smile. It was a truly sad and touching conversation for me. It was one of the last
conversations I had with my mother before she died. However, this is not my mother’s legacy. We all
want to leave a legacy behind so that our children’s children and others will remember us. My mother
was a simple woman. She did not find the cure for cancer or HIV. She did not run a marathon. The only
place she ever traveled to outside of Jamaica was the U.S. I have done more and I have accomplished
more than she did her life on earth.
What is the purpose of telling you about my mother? Making a mark on the world is hard but my
mother a simple woman left a legacy of compassion. She was kind and caring to others. From my
mother I learned how to be compassionate and hence I developed my passion for charity. Last week
Monday I launched my High Performance Leadership project titled Holiday Season Food Drive for the
Salvation Army of Bramptonand yesterday I had the opportunity to speak City Centre Toastmasters Club
members about my food drive.
For my food drive I have a very simple goal. My goal is to collect at least TEN 3.0 cubic feet (18 x 18 x 16)
boxes of non-perishable food items to be delivered to the Salvation Army of Brampton in midDecember. I have a number of Toastmasters Clubs and Toastmasters’ members participating in my food
drive in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga. Today I will be the guest speaker at TD Creekside in the
financial district in Mississauga. I will be delivering one my humourous speeches and collecting TD
Creekside Toastmasters Club’s contribution to my food drive. You are invited to find a Toastmasters Club
in Brampton and Mississauga near you and ask about my food drive. Toastmasters International offers
one of the world’s leading communication and leadership development programme.
You can make your mark on the world, if you kick expectations through the door, find your passion, view
each day as the last chance to pursue your goals and use your skills and talents effectively. Making a
mark on the world is hard. You have to be determined. You have to resolve not to be defeated by
challenges and obstacles.
Above all, take something from me….if I can do it in my small way…without the limelight and
cameras…without the glim and glamour…sure as hell you too can do! I believe in your ability and
capability to make a different…You too can make a mark on the world although it is hard!
Go out and make your mark on the world!
Mark McKenzie is a leading Subject Matter Expert in financial services regulation and supervision as well
as a professional motivational speaker, corporate trainer and youth mentor. He can be contacted by
email email@example.com or by telephone 647-406-4622. Read my blog
http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ and always write me a comment and share. Follow me on Twitter
@mackynacky. Connect with me on www.youtube.com, Google+, Facebook and Linkedin.