Most of us don’t believe we have any real influence in this world. Yes, we may see an impact on our children (for a while). Yes we may occasionally recognize a contribution we make at work, but that’s about it. This absence of impact on the world leads us to feeling rather ineffective in our lives. But I think we often overlook just how much of an influence we leave behind ourselves even living a “normal” life.
Let me count the ways
To the receptionist you are patient with when they are on overload, you make a positive impact by reducing, perhaps just a little, the stress of a moment. When you take time to hear about someones day, allow another person to vent or just lend a smile you influence another person. Today as I volunteered at a Soap Box Derby race, not one of those children participating gave me a second thought. Still I know somewhere down the line the small contribution I made helped create a wonderful childhood memory. The firefighters who defended my little town during our winter fire storms, although anonymous, leave behind an impact that will influence decisions for years to come. What about the trash truck driver, can there be any doubt that person makes an impact on the lives of those along their route?
For good or for bad
It is virtually impossible for any one of us, exalted or unknown, to walk this planet and not make an impact on those around us. I have heard we all bring joy to a room, some by entering the room, some by leaving the room. Which influence you bring is up to you. Begin living your life from choice rather than walking blindly through. I call this being the Involved Observer of our own lives. Read about it in It’s All About Me and discover just how much an influence you have on the world.