Phil was 54 years old when his world began to unravel. He was a very successful sales manager and was loved by the people he led and worked with. On the surface, Phil had it all together, but internally he was a mess. The company he worked for brought me in to speak to their management team on professional performance, and during my presentation, Phil decided to reach out to me and talk. His approach got my attention, “Jerome, can I take you for a beer?” How could I resist an invite like that?

Phil wasted no time in getting to the point. He was dealing with a profound amount of internal unrest and turmoil which was spilling over into his marriage, his relationship with his kids, and was now limiting his professional performance. For the next hour we began to take a deep dive into the leading factors of his struggle and quickly began to identify where the hang ups were. Phil had battled deep hidden issues for most of his life which were now surfacing.

Phil was like a sponge. He was so hungry to overcome what plagued him that he hung on every word that I spoke. We talked through some painful aspects of his life story and courageously he leaned into the pain. Committed to getting the help he needed, he took an honest inventory and owned the outcome. Phil left our meeting with a workable plan to create positive momentum and change with his relationships and with his career.

He wasted no time in initiating a deep, meaningful conversation with his wife and began recapturing the love they had had for each other for nearly 30 years. He returned back to work the next morning laser focused on being a bigger better leader and sales manager. If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes for someone’s life to change, sometimes the answer is in an instant.

What held him back was not complicated nor uncommon. I’ve had my own challenges as you’ve had yours, and the truth is, simple solutions can change the most complex struggles. Your world can change on a dime when you decide that the battle you’re in can be won and must be won. Your world can change in an instant when you are ready to courageously lean into the pain and own the outcome.

Two weeks after my “coaching session” with Phil, I ran into him at a Starbucks nearby. I caught the door for him as he walked in. There was a noticeable change in Phil’s stride, demeanor, tone, and overall countenance.  He was walking tall and walking light. This was a new man who was walking free from what had held him prisoner days earlier.

When he saw me he couldn’t wait to tell me about his transformation. With excitement and energy, he shared every detail with me; “Jerome, you’re not going to believe this. I did what you told me to do and everything has changed – everything!” He then went on to tell me about how he paid it forward with one of his sales team members. He was able to walk them through a similar struggle and help them unleash themselves from their limitations. Phil’s eyes were filled with joy as he enjoyed his new freedom and as he helped others do the same. Phil’s world had changed, and now he was changing the world by unleashing greatness in others.

It’s been two and half years since Phil and I met for the first time and his new life began. He is still walking tall and walking light. At the end of the day is there any greater calling, any greater purpose than to change the world by helping others unleash their greatness? We can spend a lifetime building our personal book of sales, or a business, or our financial portfolio, but it all pales in comparison to impacting someone’s life, and it’s not as complicated as you may think.

Here are three things that will help you change the world and unleash greatness:

1. Be honest with yourself.

Change starts with and within you. Phil was able to change someone’s world because he had first been honest about his need to get help and resolve what was holding him back. This is the first step to any real and lasting success. When you have courageously embraced the truth that you have intentionally ignored or have hidden internally, your life begins to change and that change becomes a catalyst to help others.

2. Be brave as you lean into a greater future.

The future is unknown and unproven, yet to live the life we want and to experience the success we want, we must bravely lean into a greater future. A greater future may include greater professional success and bigger paydays, but in reality the bigger and best future is when you choose to help others unleash their greatness. Life has so much more meaning when we invest in the success of others instead of just focusing on the growth of our own assets or living self-absorbed lives. Making this shift takes a brave person who gives themselves permission to define their success beyond their own wealth and achievements to helping others achieve new levels of greatness.

3. Be a bright light shining in a dimly lit world.

From your own “unleashed life” you become a beacon of hope and change that shines bright for all to see. When those closest to you get a front row seat to your transformation it creates what I call a “collateral greatness” affect that inspires and emboldens others to do the same. Your life is a light that the world desperately needs so that it can find its way to a life of greatness.

Wherever you find yourself today, take a minute to think through Phil’s story and then spend a few minutes to apply the three things mentioned above. The world is waiting for you to unleash your greatness, it’s time for you to be unleashed!