By Katherine Olivetti

mlk i have a dream









In a previous blog post I wrote about how important it is to find the right philanthropic activity—and by that I mean the one that suits you the best.  I want to elaborate on that theme…

Dr. Martin Luther King said,
“Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.”

Dr. King said that there was a difference between being famous or successful and great.  According to him, being great meant doing the things you were meant to do in this life.

I have long subscribed to the notion that each one of us is unique and has very particular possibilities that can be manifest in our lives.  Every individual is an unusual, unrepeatable occurrence in the universe, and there are things that only that person can bring into being. There are stories only you can tell; tasks that bear your signature; people only you can touch; lessons only you can teach.

Most of us are not going to become famous or recognized out in the world, but becoming great means actualizing the best of you and putting that out there, whether you do it for one person or for many.

Here are some ways to home in on what makes you great:

  • What do you do that makes you happiest?
  • What do you do that feels effortless?
  • What do you do that, after you finish, you feel more rejuvenated than before you did it?
  • If you ask your best friends what they see as your special gifts, what will they reflect back to you?
  • What can you give back without disrupting your day-to-day life?
  • What do you feel proud of?
  • What is your quirky, individual, secret super power?
  • What is one small thing you can think of that these questions bring to mind?

I would challenge you to give yourself the opportunity to give one small effort of service by answering these questions.

Bake a pie for the man next door.

bake pie





Wash your neighbor’s car.
Take someone else’s dog for a walk.
Grocery shop for a friend.
Write a poem for your daughter.
Teach a child something you know.

teach a child






Record a family story for your grandchild.

Write a letter to a friend (on paper!)

Use your special gift in service—and that will make you great.

Come turn up the heat with us at LIFE REINSPIRED. Contact us for more information or find out more about our programs and upcoming retreats.


Katherin Olivetti is Co-Founder of Life Reinspired, a reset lab for successful Baby Boomers contemplating a meaningful next chapter of life. She is a practicing Jungian psychoanalyst, family therapist, coach, writer, and editor, training professionals throughout the world.