When I think of impact, so many words come to mind such as consequence, repercussion, ramification and so on. Making an impact is when something or someone has or had an influence in your life. Having lost my parents in their 70s and recently lost my father-in-law who sadly passed away at the age of 99 years old, impact has been on my mind lately. For me, the best type of impact is when it positively improves people's lives.
I had the privilege of having some role models in my life that have made an impact, either through their peaceful way of living (such as my husband and my father-in-law) to having a huge and generous heart and connecting easily with others like my dad, to having the determination, strength and faith to do what you aim to do just like my mother. They have all made an impact on my life as well as in their communities.
Impact can be used in different contexts. The Oxford English dictionary gives two definitions of the word impact: ‘the actions of one object coming forcibly into contact with another’ and ‘a marked effect or influence’. In this blog post, I will be focusing on the "influence" on others.
There are different ways of making an impact either on an individual basis or on a group of people. For example building a school for girls in a deprived country would make a huge impact on a whole generation and generations to come. Whereas, mentoring one pupil would only affect one person at that time. There is no right or wrong way of making a positive influence on someone as long as you do!
It is always good to start with how you want to apply the “impact” you are making.
There are several factors to consider:
1) The Application - For example, you could choose to forecast what kind of effects you might expect; one can describe an actual observed or measured change over time? For example investing money in the housing sector will help reduce housing waiting list.
2) The Scope - One could narrow the level of impact to a few pre-defined variables such as school exam results, family earnings, or economic growth, or you could have an open perspective of impact and look into many variables to help make a useful judgement.
Good values with good intentions help you to make the right decisions. It is my intention to see the young flourish in life, using their talents and gifts for good.
In my experience as a school governor for a number of years, (a vice- chair position in my second term in office), I had the privilege of contributing to the success of the school and I even had one to one opportunities as well as other meetings with pupils (during pupil voices), other school leaders (during the academy process) to parents and the head teacher. I was passionate about my role and the positive feedback I received from the head teacher, deputy head teacher, key stage leaders, teaching assistants and parents was worthwhile. I believed I was able to use my interpersonal skills, knowledge and determination to make improvements in pupil learning by making suggestions especially in relation to the science subjects, after my visitation to the school.
As a parent, I know I have a huge influence on my children's lives; from what they ate growing up to how they view their education to even how they conduct themselves. I am aware that my children watch what I do more than what I say and so I am mindful of making a positive impact on their upbringing.
As a professional worker and my role in compliance, I know my role is pivotal in supporting the organisation to reach their objectives. The training I compile and deliver to the staff across the various disciplines, indicates that I am able to impact knowledge to them. I have always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and skills and I believed that not only is knowledge power but the use of knowledge is very powerful!
Remember that making an impact takes time so consistency and patience are paramount to attaining your goals of making an impact. Rome was not built in a day. Continue doing those little gestures that drives you to influence others. Consistency and perseverance go together.
Time is the currency used to start the day. It is a valuable commodity that can be invested in something or someone. With the fact that time cannot be made but invested, it is my intention to use my valuable time to make a positive impact. It is not good enough to just have an idea but the idea would require a relentless execution.
Passion is a gift that would give us the purpose of making the impact. Having purpose gives us the reason to make a change but we have to be curious enough to explore ways of making a difference, by willing to take up an initiative, having the awareness that things would take some time, so therefore, one should take baby steps but with passion to achieve and not giving up easily. Be flexible with the different ways of making your impact because you may discover new things along the way. For instance, I began a project previously and had to make changes to accommodate certain details that I did not originally consider.
Most of us would like to know that we are doing something meaningful.
In conclusion, making an impact means making a contribution towards someone or some cause. Giving support towards something good, an initiative or a helping hand towards a solution e.g. to stop poverty by improving education. Personally, I feel that I have a duty to support other women and young people in achieving life success. I learnt to use my difference in making an impact in my surroundings. Using my knowledge, skills and experience for a force for good will bring me fulfillment in life.
How do you make an impact?
Share your thoughts.