Success, for many, doesn’t run deeper than the development of skills or talents. There are many forgettable people in the world who are skilled, talented and successful. Success is a great thing, but having an impact is another. To be successful and feel the fulfillment of your success, strive to have an impact. Strive to make a real difference in lives of others. Live for those opportunities to help. Deep life satisfaction comes from being a really good human being.
Success without generosity is not success. You must be dedicated to your work and driven to meet goals but you must also be driven be a real superman or superwoman in your community. When you make a difference in the lives of others you also make a significant difference in your own everyday life.
1. Start with you.
Before you can make a difference in the lives others, you must make changes within yourself first. Such an inward difference will undoubtedly show an outward ripple effect. To have an impact in the world you have to wake up and take a look at your “stuff.” Do your own personal inventory and cleanse your personality of its toxic qualities as best as you can. When you wake up and become conscious, you become aware that life is not a drama of the Universe starring you. You are able to see outside of yourself to where and with whom you can make a difference.
2. Turn the negative into positive.
Greed, impatience, anger, jealousy and stupidity are among the many emotional and mental poisons that exist in each and every human being. We all have threads of these emotions to varying degrees. Rather than deny they exist, find ways to turn them to positive. Find ways to turn greed into generosity, impatience into patience and acceptance, jealousy into the celebration of others, and ignorance into education. You are a more powerful motivator of others when you are tuned into what is positive about life and people.
3. Make a habit of respect.
Do your best to treat others with respect. Everyone has their own story. Whether you like someone or not, there is a decent way to treat everyone. It is important, classy and intelligent to be cordial. If you cannot be cordial, have the decency to be quiet.
It is possible to love a person but not like them. We are all human beings, and treating others disrespectfully doesn’t serve anyone, including you. When you are respectful to others, others look up to. We are influenced the most by those we admire.
4. Think of others.
Resist getting so caught up in your own world and drama that you forget to consider the people you see each day. You cannot have an impact on others when you are wrapped up in yourself and your life. It is the coworker or family member right next to you that you can reach out and touch. Be mindful of the people in your life. Look for how you can get outside of yourself long enough to really "see" them. Do what you can to be of service.
5. Be kind.
Kindness will get you further in life than any other human virtue. There is no quicker or faster way to have an impact on others than to simply be kind. Having an impact isn’t limited to donating to charity, starting a philanthropy or creating a movement. Simple kindness is a movement all unto itself.
6. Look for the good.
Acknowledge the good within others and within yourself. Yoga classes typically end with a prayer that says “the light within me sees the light within you, Namaste.” Take that perception into the world, regardless of your experience or judgments of others, and find the good no matter how small. Accept that finding the good in certain people can be challenging but seldom impossible. When you cannot find the good in another, strive to be the bigger person. Come from the good within yourself when dealing with difficult people in your life.
Related: The Common Beliefs We Get Wrong
7. Take time.
The most valuable thing you can give of yourself is your time. If you see that someone is stressed take a minute for them. You may make the difference in their day they needed in order to be able to turn it around. Sometimes just allowing another person to vent opens them to the solutions they were seeking. When you take time for people you show them they matter and are of value. To make another feel they matter is a powerful way to have an impact, and all it takes is the giving of a little bit of your time and attention.
8. Show up.
Put your heart into everything important to you. Be present to other people. Listen, don’t just talk. When you show up in life and are completely present, it will inspire you to commit and follow through. When you commit and follow through you touch other people and help them see bigger things in themselves and for themselves.
Make a difference every day for the people you love, for those who work for you, in the lives of the people you meet and for yourself. When you show up you make others feel secure, valued, included and considered.
A smile lights up your whole personal aura. A smile, like a yawn, is contagious. Smile. There is so much to be grateful for and happy about. People will be drawn to you and your energy when you smile. Smiling, especially on your bad days, is important. Life is challenging but suffering also has a positive purpose. It teaches you resilience. Your smile has the power to change your day and the day of others.
10. Be involved.
You make very little impact only being an observer or spectator. To have an impact you must be actively involved in your life and in the lives of others. You will never know your power unless you have the courage to activate it. Get dirty, dig in to life and do whatever you can to positively influence others with your passion, love and involvement. The more involved you are, the more others will want to be involved.
11. Be grateful.
Emotions are transmissible, so you may as well adopt a grateful spirit. People are inspired by an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful, regardless of your burdens. Better yet, find a way to be grateful for how your burdens help you grow. Impact others by turning your pain to positive. Use the knowledge you gained through your struggles to help others see the light at the end of their own tunnel. Speaking the language of gratitude shows others there are blessings in the bummers.
Success is one thing, but having an impact is another. Live to have an impact. Too many so-called successful people are unremarkable, self-centered and greedy. True success comes in creating a shift, no matter how big or small, in the lives of others. When you strive to make a difference in the lives of others and in your own life, you only increase your capacity for giving, for leading others and for running a business and life that has an authentic influence in the world for the better. You will always be cherished, revered and influential when you live to create a positive difference.