I believe we all want to have an impact in our lives and in the lives of those that are close to us. Nobody wants to live a meaningless life. What does it mean to have an impact? It means that you alter the behavior of others in a way that it makes a positive difference.
Life comes down to your relationships and experiences, and the way you add value to your closest and most meaningful relationships. Your legacy is only as strong as your relationships for it’s those bonds you build and maintain with others that will outlast your beating heart. So, what’s the formula? What does it take to have a lasting impact? The first part is passion.
The key is how you approach your passions. We’re taught, at a very young age, to pursue our passions. We should be in constant pursuit of what excites and motivates us. Go after your dreams and do whatever it takes to get there. This is a flawed paradigm. Pursuing your passions will leave you always wanting and dissatisfied with your life. You’ll always peek around the corner of your life and wander what’s next, and fail to appreciate the moments you have right now. Instead of pursing your passions, take them with you.
Shift your paradigm and begin to unpack your passions and deploy them into whatever season of life you’re in now. You’re not defined by your job title, you’re defined by your work. If your passion is service, then serve! Do it in your current position whether you’re a sales clerk, a mail carrier, or a CEO. Identify what motivates you, what excites you, and then start exploring and cultivating those passions in your daily life.
For me, I have a passion for communicating. I love to explore my thoughts, collect ideas, and then organize them and communicate them to the world. How did I unpack that passion? I started this blog! I began writing and posting my ideas and thoughts and presenting it to the world. My blog is now read by over 10,000 people each year, what an impact!
The second part of the formula is to discover your strengths and then cultivate them so that you may leverage them to add tremendous value to everyone you meet for the rest of your days. How do you do this? Purchase the book, Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath. Take the Strengths Finders test. This test will identify your five themes, which will give you some insight into your potential. Your goal is to turn those themes into strengths.
The key with your strengths is to focus on them and don’t worry about anything else. We’re taught to focus on our weaknesses. Don’t do that. You’re weak on those areas and won’t add value to anyone by working within your weaknesses. Instead, build upon your strengths and focus on them. My strengths are networking, communicating, and inspiring others. I studied books and took courses and engaged within my strengths and found ways to leverage those strengths to have an impact.
A few years ago, I unpacked my passions and married them up with my strengths and I took the stage at a conference and delivered a talk. I felt something deep within my soul that resonated and inspired me to do it again and again. This year, I will take the stage over 50 times and I’m loving every minute of it, but most of all, I’m making an impact. I know this because of the feedback I’m getting from the event planners who hire me and from the survey results from the participants. Several times I was rated the best speaker at a conference. Several event planners stated that I was the best speaker they’ve ever hired. I share this, not to edify myself, but to make a point that when you combine your passions with your strengths, there is no ceiling to what you may accomplish.
You were born to have an impact and you have a unique set of gifts that when they are ignited by your passions, will launch you into a life that you’ve only dreamed of until now. What are your passions? What are your strengths? Unpack your passions and develop your strengths, so that you may become the person God created you to be and so that you will have an unbelievable and lasting impact on this world.