I was recently talking to someone who was in a mindset class I used to teach as part of a improvement program. He told me that he was still in the program and was doing well. In fact, he was looking forward to graduating soon. He told me that he got a lot out of my classes and that other people in the program were still talking about me and wished I would come back. That was nice to hear and made me feel good to know I had an impact on the people I was speaking to.
I don’t tell you this to boost up my own ego, but to relate the fact that everything you do every day has a direct or indirect impact on others. Even the little things you do can be seen by other people, affecting how they think of you. Think about the things you do when you’re out running errands. Imagine you’re walking to your car and accidentally drop a piece of paper or a cup on the ground. Do you ignore it and get into your car and drive away? Or do you stop and pick up the trash and dispose of it properly?
Most people would probably just ignore it. After all, it’s just a little trash. Someone else is probably responsible for cleaning the parking lot. But what if someone you know – or who simply knows you (or knows of you) – is in the parking lot and is watching you? What impression will they have of you if you ignore the trash? Now stop and think about what impression it will make if you stop and pick it up.
Their impression of you based on how you handle dropping a little trash might make the difference between hiring you or not hiring you for that big job. It might make the difference between landing that big contract, or not landing it. It’s certainly going to influence how they talk about you to others.
That’s just one example of how a seemingly trivial incident can have a big affect on your future. Now consider those moments when we are actively seeking to influence others, such as when we’re talking with someone to try to promote our business, or to solicit donations for a charity, or asking a cute person out on a date. Suddenly everything we do becomes important. At that moment, who we are is more important than what we say. Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” It’s so true.
“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just like our daily choices determine our future outcomes, what we do in private, when no one is watching us, determines our character. If we have an ethical character and we continue to be conscientious when we’re out “in the world,” we impact the way others view us.
Now let me take this idea one step further. Who are you actively interacting with and how are you impacting them? How do you treat those closest to you? Are you treating them with love, respect, and dignity? How are you treating those you don’t know? Are you adding value to them, and encouraging them when, perhaps, no one else is? You can – and should – be a blessing to others.
We have an opportunity to have a positive impact in other people’s lives every single day. In fact, we have a lasting impact – positive or negative – on people whether we know it or not. Keep this in mind as you go through your day and you can ensure that your impact is a positive one. It’s worth the effort because it all comes back to you.
Originally published in JoinMeForSuccess.com