The world we live in is a pretty expansive place. It’s jam-packed with millions of people; all different, all unique, all contributing to the total sum that creates our diverse, wonderful world.
From my own personal experience, this world used to feel both intimidating and uncomfortably huge. It was full of people who were better than me, successful people, beautiful people, people who were making something of themselves while I was getting nowhere. It used to be a place I was afraid to be a part of. A place that I tried to hide away from and avoid. I was certain that my presence went unnoticed, that I had nothing to give and that the world didn’t benefit from me at all.
I’m incredibly glad now to realise that I was so wrong (and I don’t normally like being wrong!)
Throughout my journey the topic of impact and influence has come up and it’s really solidifying now how important those are to me. What I’ve come to strongly believe is that my impact is everywhere, and I can radiate it out and really contribute to the bigger picture as much as I want. It’s become crucial for me to put myself into that picture and I value being able to do just that.
Of course, it’s not just me - I’ve come to fully understand how much each and every single one of us has to contribute. Our decisions, actions and interactions all have impact on the people and environment around us. Big or small, what we do creates a ripple of effect. Even just our presence contributes energy.
After all, it's true as the quote goes that ‘Every drop makes an ocean and the ocean would be less without that single drop.’
Here’s what has gotten me excited about impact:
- It can be in small ways – it doesn’t have to be an ongoing, exuberant gesture. People in passing have had impact on me, the way the sun shines out of the trees while I’m driving by impacts me, a quick smile, eye contact or a simple ‘thank you’ all influence me in positive ways. Whether it's the workplace, the street or at home, these fleeting little things can all leave a lasting impression.
- It can be profound – Talks, quotes or people can have a profound impact on our lives. Even music, lyrics, and films can leave us thinking long after they’re over. Experiences and opportunities can make a difference that triggers transformative change for us. Sometimes we may not even realise how profound they can really be at the time but the impact they’ve made reverberates around our minds and filters out into our lives.
- It can be in nature – nature lately has had a significant impact on me. It’s given so much beauty, tranquillity and contentment. One of my favourite days recently was sitting on top of a mountain looking out just taking it all in with such an air of happiness and calm. The views, the scenery and the absolute contentment has carried its impact within far from where that mountain is. Nature can be powerful, so it's worth paying attention and taking notice of its influence.
- It can be unintentional – Sometimes we don’t know how much we influence others. We don’t see the effects of how we might contribute to their lives but it can be pretty powerful to them. If you go out in life with your best intentions, your influence will be glowing whether you realise it or not. It might be a quirk or idiosyncrasy that only you possess that makes the impact of your individuality shine through. Regardless, it contributes something that wasn't there before and that's pretty significant.
This topic sprang to my mind after a week off I had recently where I discovered how much I enjoy being a part of the world now. I met some fantastic people, had amazing experiences and even simple things like inside jokes or impromptu fun have kept me smiling a week later. Life is full of these people, these opportunities and these influential moments that give substance and lightness to it. If you look for them, they’ll begin to crop up everywhere.
Like it or not, we all make a difference just by being who we are. So what kind of difference do you want to make?
There’s opportunity to leave our mark in every moment, in small or large ways. But it’s important to remember that it all counts, we count. We can create the impact we want to impart. We just need to get out there, get involved and radiate the person that we are.