How big of an impact do you make?
It’s too big of a question, actually. Impact where? With whom? In what context? Personally? Professionally?
You can assess my question however you wish.
When you’re making an impact, your presence is felt. Your presence ends up mattering and making a difference.
You do more than just “show up”. You’re dialed-in to the purpose of whatever’s going on, and you’re actively participating to help fulfill that purpose and move things forward.
Like a speed boat slicing through the water and leaving a wake behind it, what kind of "wake" do you leave?
And how big is that wake?
Some people never leave much of a wake.
They do show up, yes, but that’s about it. They’re actually just filling a chair and taking up space.
They blend into the furniture, and we forget they’re there.
Don’t blend in. Don’t allow yourself to be forgotten. You’re worth so much more than that, and have so much more than that to contribute!
Be disruptive--in a good way, of course. In a way that promotes greater quality, thoughtfulness, health, wellness, depth, etc.
Disrupt the status quo.
Move things forward.
Break through people’s malaise and lazy thinking. There’s too much that is banal and insipid out there.
Be that guy who wears striped shirts with plaid pants—maybe not literally, but in
- how you speak the “unvarnished” truth forthrightly or say intelligent things that jar people out of their slumber to think in new ways,
- or how you stand against the group-think and pressure of your team/office/family/organization and make a persuasive case for a new way of doing something that will lead to something better,
- or how you take bold, unexpected action to solve a problem when everyone else is just sitting there, mesmerized by their own inertia.
Speak up! Life’s way too short to remain quiet. You’ll regret it later if you always keep your “pie hole” closed.
Now, don’t-don’t-don’t create drama just for the sake of drama, stirring people up just to stir people up. There are too many who already do that.
No, speak intelligently and take smart action for the sake of progress, and then if conflict and controversy come about as an unintended result, so be it.
Just don’t blend in. Don’t be boring. Don’t nod your head “yes” with everyone else when you SHOULD be shaking your head “no”.
And for goodness sake, don’t be “nice”! If you must, be KIND, be tender-hearted, be empathic, be merciful, be generous, be compassionate. Those things have substance and mean something.
But “nice”? Never. Avoid nice, at all costs. Nice people never make an impact. Nice people just smile and take up space. Nice people never make waves. "Nice" is disempowering. Nice people are really scared people. If that’s you, work through the fear, and work towards AUTHENTICITY.
Don’t be a J.A.N.G. (“just a nice guy”).
Go ahead, make some waves! Find your voice and use it.
This next week, I’d like you to be thinking about the impact you’re making . . . or the impact you’re not making but need to make. Which area(s) of your life you consider is up to you.
Feel free to email me any of your findings.
Now, go make a positive impact somewhere.
-Sean Cox, Chicago
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