Would you like to make a positive impact in the world? Would you like to inspire and uplift your family, friends, workmates, employees or even strangers?
Did have to think about that? Did you answer without hesitation?
Were you getting ahead of yourself and thinking about what skills or resources you have (or don’t have), or how you could actually do it?
We can often get too far ahead of ourselves by thinking too much, and it disconnects us from the simplicity of the question, but when we drop the over thinking it becomes a simple yes or no. “Yes, I want to make a positive impact in the world”, or “No, I don’t want to make a positive impact in the world”.
Yes or no?
Let’s simplify the question even further. Making an impact in the world may seem daunting, the world is a big place, but if we think of the world around us first, as in our family, friends, workmates, or even the strangers we meet, we can start to see that it’s not that difficult to make an impact.
Think of a time when you were in a bad mood. Perhaps you were angry, frustrated or depressed. How did that impact the people around you, such as your family, friends or workmates? Did you feel connected or disconnected?
Now, think of a time when you were in a good mood. Perhaps you were happy, excited, relaxed or in love. How did that impact the people around you? Did you feel connected or disconnected?
Every time we interact with someone there is an opportunity.
Every time we interact with someone there is an exchange and an effect of some kind. But the opportunity that presents itself here is not that we can have an impact in other people’s lives… We already do, but it varies depending on our mood. So the opportunity that presents itself here is choice.
How do you want to impact those around you?
Good vs Bad
I’ve used the terms “good” and “bad” mood above but thinking of them as good or bad doesn’t necessarily help. It’s more productive to think about cause and effect. In this context that means when we’re in a certain mood, it has a certain effect on the people we interact with.
Who we are and how we express ourselves in any moment depends on our state of mind.
If you’ve never paid attention to how your state of mind, and your resulting words and actions, effect others I highly recommend starting. This practice in self awareness is extremely empowering because we realize we do have the power to impact lives (you’re already doing it). This realization helps us to understand a greater interconnectedness of humanity, and that we are part of something greater than our perceived selves.
A Broader Perspective
This is really about taking responsibility for our actions and making a conscious choice, based on a broader perspective of us as individuals in the ocean of humanity, to live with integrity and Heart.
That doesn’t mean it will be easy, and to make it work we need to overcome stress, anxiety, emotional reactions, judgments and fears, and this takes work. Without doing the personal work on ourselves the ability to choose how we impact the world won’t work because our actions are a result of the state of our mind. Fortunately, the mind is like a muscle and we can train it just like we would train anything else, it just takes practice.
When we work on ourselves, when we become calmer, happier and more fulfilled on the inside this naturally effects how we interact with others. Our state effects their state, and their state can effect other creating a ripple effect that carries it outward into the community.
Training the Mind
The key to making this work comes down to the ability to quiet our mind. If we are unable to control the wandering and emotional reactions of our mind, then we are unlikely to be able to choose our state of mind, and therefore choose how we impact others.
Learning to quiet our mind improves all aspects of our life by increasing inner peace, clarity, confidence and sense of purpose. This is the first step. From here we are better able to choose how we impact the lives of those we care for. Remember, our state of mind governs our actions.
Now that you know you can, and do, impact people, what do choose?