Friday, July 01, 2005
noticing what is
lately, i have been pondering this question quite frequently. asking myself what is the overall impact, the big difference i want to make? asking has lead me down many tricky trails of thought often ending in what feel like impossible decisions between one thing or another.
yesterday morning, as i sat looking out over the mississippi river once again going over this question in my mind it occured to me that perhaps i was asking the wrong question. what, i wondered, would be different if i instead asked 'what is the impact i am currently making on the world?'
what if instead of trying to see into the future, i took notice of what is right now. what impact am i making right now, in my life as i live it today?
this shift in thought seems to allow us to come from a place that is much more reality based. rather than inspiring feelings of self-doubt and impossibility, it reminds us not only that we are capable but that we are already succeeding at making an impact.
while the impact you are making today may not have reached the full potential to which you aspire, it is nonetheless an impact currently being made by you. maybe you made a great birthday cake for your best friend last week, or you just got a great review on a project you did at work, take some time to inventory your impact.
what difference do you make to the people around you? what impact does your work have on the world? what effect has your initiative had?
a leader who i greatly respect once said that if something around you is going well you should take credit for it. you have to, he said, because you can't prove you didn't cause it to go well. consider the things around you that are going well, and take some credit.
taking on this perspective has given me a much clearer vantage point from which to view the impact i want to make in the future. one where i can remember that even if i don't ascend with glory to the greatest of heights i will have made a difference in many ways in many peoples lives.
i'd love to hear your impact inventory, as always feel free to share!
I completely agree with you. I used to think too much about what I should do tomorrow, how to go on, what will happen two weeks later and what I should do to improve it and this usually keeps me away from living in today. Around the time of your post I had exactly the same thoughts on my mind. I realized that there are so many great people and projects around me now that I shouldn't look for more, I have enough, let's use them now to enjoy a better life and be satisfied with it. Sometimes you just need to sit down and think about what currently happens and who are around you.. then enjoy the benefits today instead of looking for other people/things until the end of your life.