The desire to make an impact on others is a good way to assess how effectively you’ve been able to redefine possible. This is because once you’ve redefined possible, your outlook is forever changed. It allows you to take pleasure in your life by being accountable for what you can control and letting go of what you cannot.
You’ll have broken through the belief barriers that limited your ability to do the extraordinary. You’ll have the council of positive mentors who will affirm your goals and dreams, strengthening the faith you need to execute your vision. And once you find yourself here, you’ll want to share with others. It’s time to prepare for impact!
Making a positive impact on the lives of others gives you more than just the satisfaction of having done a good deed. When your motivation is based on what you can do for others, not on what you can do for yourself, it’s a good indicator that you’ve outgrown egocentric and selfish concerns. As Dustin Hillis and Ron Alford discuss in Redefining Possible, the best motivation is a selfless one. Shifting the focus from your own needs to the needs of others is part of living a joy-filled life.
But the desire to make a positive impact doesn’t require martyrdom. Quite the opposite, in fact. To be in the best position possible to make an impact on the lives of others, your own house must be in order. It’s not possible to inspire positive change if you aren’t first a model of what change looks like.
Get in the Trenches
As the saying goes, “You can’t teach what you don’t know, and you can’t lead where you won’t go.” If you want to be a leader, you have to work through (and master) the hard parts of the job. Ask yourself, “Am I actually doing the things I’m asking other people to do?” If you can’t answer this with an honest “yes,” then there’s more work that needs to be done on your end before you’re in a position to maximize your impact.
Watch for the Ripple Effect
A good way to get a sense of whether you’re making an impact is to watch for the ripple effect. You can usually observe the outcome of being selfless with your time, values, experience, and expertise. You may see someone reconnect with their values after they’ve been inspired by your commitment to your own. You may see someone overcome a bad situation because you shared your experiences. You may see someone whose vision has lost focus find clarity and renewed commitment by sharing ways you maintained your own.
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