Everybody you meet has an influence or impact on you—and you have an impact on them. What makes it interesting is that the impact could be good or bad—there’s no in-between.
A couple of months ago, I had a new colleague at work. She had joined as an intern. As she was in the same team as me and interning for the same job roles as mine, I was asked to take her under my wing and guide her through things. I later heard we’d attended the same school and college and she was two years junior to me. I didn’t give it much thought. It’s a huge but still a small world, after all.
Two months later, during a team meeting, she casually mentioned she did a ‘background check’ on me to see what kind of a person I was, as we had to work together. She asked a couple of her friends if they knew me. And boy, I was surprised. Why had I not thought about doing the same?!
One of her friends from her college class told her about a conversation she had had with me two years ago. That was probably the only conversation we ever had. She said we met at the college washroom and I gave her a wholesome pep talk about surviving college as an introvert. The friend also said I’m a very nice person going by that one conversation. Now, this surprised me even more than the intern doing a background check on me! Because I didn’t remember the girl’s face, but I’m sure I’d spoken something along those lines, as it was a vague memory. Yet I didn’t know what exactly I had said. And it was a small conversation over two years ago!
That warmed my heart and gave me a realization: it’s incredible how small conversations that you don’t give much thought to go ahead to be something that people actually remember about you. And each of us has an impact, even if we think we don’t. It’s a beautiful sentiment and one that reminds us how everyone has the power to make an impact. Every word, every sentence, every smile, every gesture, every conversation has an impact. So we need to be conscious of our thoughts, words, and behaviors with every person.
But it’s also about our true intentions. Anyone can be “fake nice” and give another person a fake smile. However, the things we do half-heartedly or just to be seen as nice people rarely have a genuine impact.
We’re all so caught up in our daily routines and to-do lists and smashing our never-ending goals that we don’t see the kind of little or large impact we have on those around us—even strangers. We’re in our bubble and don’t even consider how we’re coming across to others.
Something we consider insignificant may turn out to be important or memorable for someone else. The actions we take may change the physical or mental state of others around us. And most of the time, we get to decide what kind of difference we want to make. Whether you’re hustling at a job in the corporate world, working odd jobs to fend for yourself and your family, running a business that employs a few people, teaching a class of young and vibrant students, taking a class to further your studies, or doing the chores in your home, there are several people whose lives you touch in some way or another.
At this point, you may not know what you want to do for the rest of your life or what your “calling” is. And not know what you’ll do or how you’ll do it. But you should want to have an impact. And no matter what you do, you will have an impact.
We’re all connected. There’s nothing you do that won’t affect at least one person apart from you, no matter how big or small the cause and the effect are. It’s like a ripple effect, and it’s high time you realize just how much what you do and say matters!