Commencement speakers often share about what they wish they’d done when they were the age of the graduates.  How to make the most of your life, how to avoid mistakes, how not to get lost in the busy-ness of life . . . and so much more.

What I wish I’d learned when I was younger is to do the things only I can do because they are the things that make the most difference ~ to others and to me.

Do you realize how many things only you can do?

How can that be possible, you ask? Anybody can do the things I can do.  True, but that’s not quite what I mean. To clarify, here are just a few examples from my life.

Only I can . . .

  • Write what’s in my heart and mind
  • Be a loving and supportive wife to my husband
  • Make sure I stay fit
  • Stay in touch with my closest family members
  • Pass on what I know to my granddaughters
  • Write my new book
  • Practice being present and positive

However, we discount what only we can do because we can do it.

But as you can see from my list, that which only you can do is the heart of your life. That’s why it’s so painful when we fritter our time away, procrastinating about these things, and filling our lives with less important tasks.

For example, I’ve been working with a lawyer and CPA, who heads up his own firm, offering tax preparation and legal services. When we began, the business was doing well but wasn’t making progress on his vision to ‘give clients an extraordinary experience every time’. Others in the business weren’t doing their jobs the way he wanted, and clients didn’t always get prompt service.

So he was frustrated, having to do too much of their work, and not seeing enough of his family. Soon after I started coaching him, I shared the Do things only you can do concept, and he understood immediately: taking better care of his best clients, doing long range planning for the business, and mentoring his team to step up to the plate. Within months he’d replaced several people, seen vast improvements in others, and hired a brilliant CPA.  The firm is now flourishing,

Please take just one little minute to start a list of the things only you can do.

Who else can . . . 

  • keep you fit and healthy?
  • heal the rift between you and a loved one?
  • create a strategy for the growth of your business?
  • learn about meditation and start doing it every day?
  • kick the procrastination habit?
  • . . . and so much more

You know, sometimes it takes a life-threatening illness to wake us up from our stupor. 

Let’s make a deal not to get to the end of our lives with regrets about not having done what only we could have done. 

Going to your grave without doing them would be a tragedy, but doing them is your greatest gift.  I’ve made a simple note to myself and invite you to do the same.

Doing what only I can do is my greatest legacy.

So how do you get started doing more of what only you can do?

  1. Complete the list of things only you can do.
  2. Put at least one of them on your To Do list every day.
  3. Delegate as much as you can.


Personally I recommend that if you haven’t ever made a Best Year Yet® plan that you do so soon. In the process of answering the 10 questions you’ll make your one-page plan for the next year, and the things only you can do will show up naturally.  Only you can take this step.

To find out more about executive coaching and integrating Best Year Yet into your life, contact: [email protected].  Or click here to make your own Best Year Yet plan ~ or click here to read Your Best Year Yet!, which includes a 10-question workbook.

Originally published at


  • Jinny S. Ditzler

    Jinny is the founder of Best Year Yet® and the author of Your Best Year Yet! The system has over 1 million happy individual and organizational users around the world.

    Jinny's purpose is to support people to use their gifts to have dreams come true and to know that they matter. She is one of the first founders of the modern coaching movement, and a regular contributor to Thrive Global and LinkedIn, having written eight years for The Huffington Post. She’s the first to say none of this could have happened without her family, the clients, and the global team, all of whom contributed valuable knowledge, skill and talent to bring the program to its worldwide status. Jinny started coaching business leaders and executives 37 years ago, and in the early 1990’s her work evolved to include top business teams and organization-wide programs, designed to transform the way people work together to achieve better results and build happier companies. The Best Year Yet Partners have worked with such organizations as Zurich Insurance Group, NatWest Bank, Bank of the West USA, Heineken, Pepsico and such nonprofits as The Hunger Project, Wounded Warriors, and the Humane Society ~ as well as smaller businesses, schools, and charities around the world. Jinny is currently writing a new book and coaching leaders. Her blessings are a happy marriage of 37 years, two remarkable sons, two perfect daughters-in-law, and four beautiful granddaughters.