Do you have a really powerful and vivid dream of the difference you’d like to make in the world, the impact you want to have? Or is your vision evolving?
Either way, whether or not that dream comes to life depends very much on the answer to these questions:
What are you willing to do to have impact? What are you willing to commit to?
When I was an undergrad in college, and really, from the time I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a doctor. When I applied to medical school and wasn’t accepted, I was devastated, my dream shattered.
Looking back on it later, I realized that I hadn’t been willing to do what it took to be accepted into medical school. I was able, but not willing. I was busy exploring the refreshing freedom of making my own decisions. Not by partying, since that’s not my style, but by deciding how I wanted to spend my time in many small ways. At the time, my choices and my vision did not mesh.
Your impact is like that too. Your impact will remain an idea, a dream, until you take action with choices that align with your vision. You have to be willing to make the effort, to do the work of impact.
That can sound like a slog, a pushing from behind. And sometimes, it may feel that way.
But what really pulls you forward is motivation, a commitment to your vision, and a willingness to take action in a way that is consistent with your vision.
That commitment to aligned action takes shape in two ways:
1. Define who you need to be in order to have the impact you want to have, then become that person.
You have hidden capacities that have not yet been fully brought to light. Your impact vision may now call these capacities forward.
For example, as an entrepreneur, you’re already a leader. How is your impact vision going to require you to lead? For ideas, look around you. What leader models behavior that you’d like to adopt yourself? What skills do you want to learn that will help you lead?
By learning and practicing through modeling, you’ll be able to grow into that person.
Impact isn’t a spectator sport. You’ve got to step into the arena and start practicing.
It can seem like a daunting thing to just show up as someone else. Fortunately, it’s not often accomplished by big leaps. Rather, it’s something you choose, every day.
Which brings us to #2:
2. Decide how you want to show up, every day.
How you choose to behave in relation to yourself and others is a big indicator of your commitment to your impact vision. You may be wondering what that looks like for you. Here are a couple of examples to consider:
Are you compassionate? Do you care about people and show it by paying attention in your interactions?
Or are you dismissive? Do you show people that they are not worthy of your time in the way you rush around, barely pausing to glance at them?
This is the micro-level of impact. Your daily choices about how you show up do accumulate. They add up to become who you are.
How you show up affects your choice of actions.
And the actions you choose affect how you show up.
In this happy interrelationship, how you show up affects your attitude and changes how you act. When you act in a way that is aligned with how you want to show up, with the impact you want to have, you are being that person you need to be to have the impact you want to have and that inspires you further.
To have impact, when is the best time to put these changes into action? Right now!
Your impact vision without action is just a dream. It can never come to life.
You’re a dreamer, a visionary. You’ve started a business, right?
That’s not the whole equation, though, when it comes to impact. People who remain only dreamers stay stalled with an idea. That is not you. You want to have impact. You’re also an action-taker.
Developing yourself to become the person who can have that impact is part of your action. You can take action every day, by showing up as the person who can have that impact.
Are you willing to do what it takes to have impact?