Got Impact? Darn Right You Do!

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”
African Proverb

What impact do you hope to have in life?

No matter the size or scale, write down the impact you would like to have with your life and place it somewhere you will see on a regular basis.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

In early February during iGnite’s Wellness Retreat, one of our speakers challenged us to talk to each other about the impact we were hoping to have in life. I can only speak for myself, but that question freaked me out! I found myself very uncomfortable and feeling the need to say something profound and on a Miss America, global scale like, “solve world peace and hunger.” I sat in my chair and contemplated this extremely thought provoking question and didn’t speak up until I determined why this particular word had me sweating and wanting to leave the room. Comparison!

Yep, it’s that nasty word again which always holds us back from confidently doing ‘our thing’. And, when asked how I wanted to impact, I immediately began comparing all of the massive organizations (like Tom’s for example) and everything everyone else is doing, which instantly made me feel like a failure. But, the truth is that my heart has no desire to solve global issues like the ones that get attention on the internet and television. With that said, do I want to iGnite the world? Absolutely! So I guess that’s global. And do I want to impact my children, family and community? Darn right, and I am very ok and comfortable with that!

I suppose the issue of comparison is more present than ever because the world is now so small and we can constantly see what everyone else is doing. To me, this is both bitter and sweet, but it’s the bitter that can keep us intimidated and potentially insecure about impacting in our unique way, regardless of its perceived magnitude. Most of us are very impressionable and easily influenced (in both good and bad ways). We can also suggest that it’s “society” that makes us think and feel the way we do… but don’t we make up society? We may not be publishing the magazines or creating the television shows, movies and music, but we are definitely choosing to be consumers, and we are choosing to let someone else impact our efforts, desires, hearts.

I know you probably think that all I do is watch Disney flicks with my children, though I promise I don’t. But, over Easter weekend we stumbled across The Lorax – another great Dr. Seuss book turned movie. Like most Dr. Seuss books, it’s impressively creative and a bit weird, and like some Disney movies it’s layered with controversial themes. But, the one controversial theme which made the greatest impact on me was based upon this quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Now that’s big time! I guess what I am getting at is to never underestimate your ability to impact.

Impact is not a results-oriented game. Everyday we make a choice to care enough and feel signifiant enough to impact a life, and a lot of times, even though we’d love nothing more than to be told “thank you” for our impact, a thank you does not solidify what we’ve done. I actually think this is part of our life test: to be persistently compassionate, passionate and determined, even without being able to see or measure our impact or results. I also think we must remain confidently focused on how we feel we’ve been created to impact, and also accept when it changes. We flow from one life season to another, just like our impact needs and desires. When this happens, don’t judge yourself or feel guilty. You are designed to change. It would be strange, but not wrong, if your impact desires today were identical as they were in high school, college or even a few years ago. As long as you go with what has been planted in your heart, you can’t go wrong. The world needs impact on all levels and sizes, which starts at home, at work, and at the grocery store. As long as we each choose to impact on some level, we will all be part of the impact circle that is an essential piece of our significance, our livelihood and of course the lives of others.

1 thought on “Got Impact? Darn Right You Do!

  1. Pingback: It’s Never Too Late | the iGnite blog

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