As I thought about everything that happened and did not happen to me and through me in 2023 and what I want to experience or cause another to experience in 2024, one goal stood out to me. This goal isn’t about being fitter, a better speaker, or a better writer or anything to do with me. This goal is about helping other people.
I was very moved by listening to an interview with Dr. Tom Catena, MD. Dr. Catena is a missionary physician who runs the Mother of Mercy hospital in the Nuba mountains of war-torn Sudan. In the interview, Dr. Catena explained how he came to be the only physician for up to one million people. He did this at significant cost and risk to his own life. He explained that at least twice his hospital was bombed and that he and his staff had to run for cover.
I was very impressed by how Dr. Catena uses his faith and the resources of the church to help thousands of people who would otherwise go without medical services. There is no doubt that Dr. Catena has made and continues to make a huge difference in the lives of many people. He is practicing his faith in an outstanding way. His story is fascinating and it inspired me.
When I compare my life with Dr. Catena’s, I am humbled. By comparison, my life seems self-serving and far less important.
I decided to ask myself a question: How can I help a lot of people? This is a “dream big” question, and it is not clear to me that I can do this. So my initial thought is to start small and scale from small to hopefully big and maybe bigger. My start-small approach is to make a significant difference in one person’s life. I would like to have a meaningful impact on at least one person!
I am not sure how I am going to help make a significant difference in one person’s life yet, but I do know that I can do this! My brain acknowledges that helping one person should be easy. I also think I can help at least one person a month and, for now, I am not going to worry about, as author Mike Dooley says, the “dreaded hows.” I have learned and experienced that when I express my intentions, somehow they are realized and usually in ways (hows) that I could have never imagined.
Maybe this is a little selfish but, ideally, I would like to have a personal connection with the person or people I have helped. I have provided money to various causes and will continue to do so, but this seems anonymous and impersonal.
In December of 2023, I volunteered to help an inner city Phoenix elementary school have a Christmas party. The principal explained to us volunteers that this party might be the only Christmas that some of these children would have. I did not have a specific job so I went out to the yard and played with some of the children. We played bean bag toss and tug of war with a rope. It was four children against me and they would win. At one point, a boy in the third grade stopped me and pulled something out of his pocket. It was a Christmas tree ornament made of yarn and he said that he wanted me to have this. That was very sweet and kind of him and I have that on my bedroom dresser.
I am currently looking for other volunteer opportunities and have made a donation to Dr. Catena’s effort.
I want to encourage you to do whatever you can to help at least one other person. If you would like a reward for helping someone else, I will provide a free PDF copy of my book, Abs At 60: The Four Steps to Look and Feel Younger at Any Age, to anyone who helps someone else and lets me know by contacting me through my website www.absat60.com. I will also donate 50% of my Elite coaching revenue to a charity of your choice.
If you would like to learn more or support Dr. Catena’s work, his website is sdnrlf.com/our_team/dr-tom-
Written by Greg Damian: I am a 61-year-old author, motivational speaker, health and fitness disruptor and an Elite coach. My mission is to assist men over 50 to overcome perceived limits of their age to look and feel younger. My book, Abs at 60: The Four Steps to Look and Feel Younger at Any Age is available on Amazon. Each chapter of the book has a set of questions to answer. You can download a free workbook that includes all of these questions at www.absat60.com. At my website you can also learn about my Elite coaching services. I will donate 50% of my coaching revenue to a charity of your choice.