Today, I am sitting in the beautiful Dominican Republic on the FirstFitness Nutrition’s Dream Vacation. Twelve of our top Distributors are with me as a result of their achievement in our company. To our great team of dedicated wellness coaches and business builders, winning a Dream Vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is an achievement of SUCCESS that others dream about winning.
This year’s Dream Vacation, however, had an added component that we’ve never done before, making this our first ever LEGACY Dream Vacation in partnership with the Children’s Hunger Fund. Recognizing the power of leaving a lasting legacy, I asked our CEO, Nigel Branson, if we could add a day onto the trip to move beyond the feeling of SUCCESS and offer a life-changing time of significance for our Distributors. And, so yesterday, under sunny skies and extremely warm temperature, our Distributors set aside their tropical drinks by the pools of luxury, and at 7 a.m., loaded up onto a small bus and drove four hours into one of the most poverty stricken areas of this region.
As we began the journey, I prayed to myself, “Dear God, let today be filled with your presence. Use our lives to be a source of hope, health and healing to the children and families we will reach. And let this experience FOREVER change the lives of our Distributors so they will sense an even greater purpose behind what we do as entrepreneurs, and the bigger meaning behind why we should do it.”
Our first stop was a small church that was also the local school. They had a special presentation for us and our hearts were touched by the faces of the children, looking to us with bewilderment. With American visitors, usually comes gifts and surprises so they were “lit up” with excitement and anticipation. They sang to us, recited scriptures they had memorized, and welcomed us in their languages of Spanish, French and Creole. As I, along with all of our Distributors, sang “Jesus Loves Me”, the smiles of the children were so big and, though they couldn’t understand our words in English, they could feel our love.
After our time together, we went outside and played with the toys we brought for them. From hoola hoops, jump ropes and baseballs, to the masterful coaching of Brian Fox teaching the boys to play basketball with a Nerf hoop, the joy of simple pleasures was seen in all of our eyes and felt in our hearts.
From there, we moved to where these children lived, and our hearts were so profoundly impacted. Indeed, it was a culture shock to all of us. Words would be inadequate to try to explain the poverty we witnessed, as our American lifestyle is so far removed. We saw shacks made from scraps, surrounded by trash, flies and waste, but to these families, it was shelter, provision and HOME. I could see the tears continually welling up in the eyes of the Distributors as it was a surreal and life-changing moment of time for all of us. After a day of delivering food packs, prayer, hope, and sometimes just a hug, we knew this was the RICH life – that life where we’re blessed enough to be a blessing to others.
Why do we work so hard in our own country? Is our greatest sign of achievement the titles we possess or the cars we drive? Is it the material possessions we accumulate? Or is there a larger and grander reason for the blessing of success? What if the real test in life is our ability to move beyond success into a life of lasting significance?