How far is your impact? The truth is, you may never know.
But of one thing you can be certain…YOU ARE MAKING AN IMPACT. The more important question becomes not, “how far does it reach?” but rather, “What kind of impact is it?”
What kind of impact do you make in the world around you? Is it good? Is it bad? Does it build others up or tear them down? Does it draw more people to you or push them away?
Every day, the choices you make with your actions and reactions, leave an impression on the people with whom you share that moment. You don’t always know who is sharing the moment with you either. I was once positively impacted by witnessing a man go out of his way to chase down a rogue shopping cart to prevent it from hitting someone’s car. When I say chase, I mean it. I saw him notice the cart begin its path. I saw him start to not bother with it (I wouldn’t have blamed him because it was pretty far away) and head to his car. Then I noticed his moment of decision where he turned back around and sprinted a good hundred yards to save the car in the nick of time. He didn’t have to do it. It wasn’t his cart. It wasn’t his car. But it WAS his choice…and it encouraged me. He had no idea that he had a positive impact on me. He had no idea I was even watching.
It is worth while to do the little things, even when you think no one is watching. The cart-chasing man not only impacted me, but now he is impacting you. The ripples of our choices can be extremely far reaching sometimes and we don’t even know it. Sometimes we find out quickly that we made an impression on someone. I recently read a story about two men. Man #1 was standing on the subway when Man #2 bumped into Man #1 while moving through the car. Man #1 said, “Excuse me” even though it wasn’t his fault. Man #2 rudely cursed at Man #1 and told him what he could go do to himself. Shortly after this incident, Man #1 arrived at work where he was a hiring manager. His first interview of the day was with Man #2.
Here is another story which I found here
“I went into a construction trailer one day to look for a job. Right when I walked in, the superintendent threw a piece of trash and missed the can. I picked it up, placed it in the can, and asked for work. Come to find out that he gave my name to another owner who hired me just because of that piece of trash.
I worked for him for ten years. Now, I have my own company.”
— Ken Beckstead, Cigarette Pollution Services
The good little things are worth doing. Not to get noticed or to get something in return, but to serve others as a good example. I am reminded of Gandhi’s quote,
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
I have written this quote off many times as being too cliche. More recently, I have found myself leaning on it quite a bit. He definitely had a good idea.
Go out there today and do the little things.