What’s Your Impact in the World?

pow_300Every once in a while, a few words can change the way you think.  Here are the words that recently rocked my brain.

My work is more impact.”

That’s how Seth Godin responded in an interview when asked to describe his work.

He didn’t say his work was writing books, or selling books, or starting internet companies, or creating internship programs for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, he does all of those things.

Instead he said, “My work is more impact.”

And that caught my attention. In fact, that phrase got stuck in my mind and really made me think.

“My Work is More Impact”

Think about it.

Is your work what you do every day? Is your work the tasks you set out to complete? Or is your real work the impact of those tasks?

If you begin to think that your real job is to make a difference in the world, then you’ll probably change the way you work, as well as the way you think about your work.

The immediate task is only important in relation to the difference it might make in the world.

Whew… that changes the way you think about things, doesn’t it?

Case in Point: This Blog

Consider this blog.

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog for a year now.  Other than wanting to practice writing and share some ideas, I’ve never thought about this blog as a way to make a difference in the world.

But what if my work on this blog isn’t just to write a thought-provoking post each week?

What if I were to think about my work as using this blog to have more impact?

What if this blog could help more people get along better and solve their problems more effectively?

What if it inspired thousands of people to ask for help in a way that worked?

What if the ideas in this blog could actually help make the world be a better, more accepting place?

Working to Make a Difference in the World

Just asking myself how this blog might have more impact gets me thinking in a very different way.

Here are some of the questions I’m grappling with.

  1. What impact in the world do I want to have?
  2. Can I make a bigger difference in the world?
  3. Do I have the right to try to make a bigger difference?
  4. Do I have an obligation to do so?
  5. Am I willing to take the responsibility that comes from having a larger impact?
  6. Do I have the courage to make more impact?

At the moment, I’m simply pondering the answers.

Give Some Thought to Those 6 Questions

I invite you to think about those questions, too. Perhaps Seth Godin’s phrase “My work is more impact” will expand your world, too.

What difference would it make in your life if, instead of thinking about your work as what you do every day, you thought about your real work as being the IMPACT of what you do every day?

How would it change the way you work?

Or what sort of work you do?

More importantly, what impact would you like to make on the world? And do you have an obligation — a responsibility — to do so?

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Consider Your Impact on the World

Think about the impact of what you do every day. Consider what sort of impact it has on the world at large. And really think about those six questions above. Is the impact you’re making with your real work something you want to do more of? Is there other work you could be doing that would make a greater impact?

These questions amount to a deep level of soul-searching. But perhaps they’ll help you unlock the potential to do some truly great things — to have an even greater impact on the world.

Does Seth Godin’s statement about impact make you wonder about what your real work might be?

Please share the ways in which thinking about impact resonates with you. I’m so curious.

  • Randy

    Well, when reading the answer I didnt give it a thought – but this blog post brings it out. So the statement has meaning. My work is impact. – After reading the blog and the six questions; I realize that what I am going thru now is the answer to many of the six questions. I will say that the only way to truly be fulfilled in the end is to have work that is impact. whether that be working to take care of a family or work that directly affects families.
    I have recently found that all of my hard work means nothing if I cannot find a way to impact other’s lives. so the first four questions are simple – If what I am doing does not have impact then there will be an empty hole until I find impact in what I am doing or I create impact by doing something! – The last two questions is where the stumbling comes in – am I willing and do I have the courage.
    I recently have begun a blog space, for the past month I have had a fear to actually post on it (dont ask me why) – but I believe that it will have IMPACT! –
    What this blog has emphasized is what I need to finally buckle down. I am not happy with the work I am currently doing but I know that I can make IMPACT by doing what I always wanted to do. (now its time to have the courage to actually do so – and not sway from that responsibility).

    Thanks again for another thought-provoking blog.

    • Andrea Kihlstedt

      Hi Randy, Isn’t it interesting how hard it is to find the courage to put oneself out there. I have trouble with that too. It’s easy to hide behind that anxiety. But mostly it’s best just to just go forward…even if you don’t know you’ll succeed. I too wrestle with that issue. Thx for commenting, Randy. That’s a nice step out into the world and I so appreciate it.