Do you give yourself credit about the tremendous impact you have on other people?
Have you had people in your life come back to you and say that you really did impact them, or perhaps were even able to share with you the specific things you said to them; and the stories that maybe you have even forgotten about, but they were really huge to that person?
I share this with you because often times in these VLOGs we are talking about where we’re not quite meeting the mark, especially in a workplace context. There is another side to this story, and that is that there are moments in every single day where we’re making a huge difference and we have no idea what kind of impact we can make to others.
I showed up to a speaking engagement a few weeks ago, booked about a week in advance, for a group of engineering students of which I have never had the privilege of speaking to before. All I could do was be myself. No time for new material or interviewing clients. All I could do was present on what I know.
The topic we discussed was recognizing and leveraging your own and others’ greatness, and starting from a place of self-recognition first. The amazing thing I heard from so many of those students afterward was that this was the first time somebody had said to them, “You have uniqueness that’s amazing! It’s your choice what you choose to do with it. Follow your own greatness as your key to a most successful, happy career.”
One student came up to me at the end of my talk. She had been hanging back, a little bit shyer, and kept a little bit of distance between her and the other students. She slowly lifted her head, and said, “I want to tell you, I think I’ve figured it out.”
“That’s great. What did you figure out? What did you learn?”
She replied, “Well, I kind of always knew I needed to be a teacher, and I started to have the conversation with my parents a few times, but something always stopped me. They want me to be an engineer. I realized, though, as I was listening to you, the word that kept popping into my head the whole sixty minutes was teacher. Teacher. Teacher. I need to be a teacher! I’m ready to go and have that conversation with them. I know the things that would make me a good engineer—loving math and being very logical – will make me a great teacher. I know I can really help students by being able to tell them, and support them to learn it. That’s what I’m excited about. That’s what I’m going to be good at in this world, and I just want to thank you.”
I bet you too have all kinds of examples and stories like that in your life, where people have appreciated something you have done for them. Do you know how much of an impact a few words have had on others? It’s important to remember, because as much as our day to day world can be full of tasks, and stress, and distractions, it’s those impactful moments that we need to pause and step out of our shell, and remember: if we choose to, we can have huge impact.
Be well, and be great.