On Being Impactful

I have a long bucket list. Most of the items on it are related to travel. Needless to say, this pandemic is not doing good things for that bucket list. But there is one item on there that I’ve been focused on quite a bit of late. To wit: Have a significant impact on someone’s life.

I understand that that statement is a little bit vague in terms of accomplishment. But when I wrote it, I knew exactly what I meant, because I’ve had it happen to me a time or two. What I mean by “significant impact” is being the catalyst for a major, positive turning point in someone’s life.

There are several points in my life that I can look back on as having changed my trajectory entirely, and often those points wouldn’t have come about if not for the actions of someone who may or may not have even been aware of their import. Whether these things were intentional or not, they turned out to be momentous for me, and I’ll never forget them. I’d love to pay it forward.

This bucket list item has turned out to be a lot more challenging than I anticipated. It is exceedingly difficult to determine what another person wants or needs. And I have sometimes had to resist the urge to be pushy, because it’s easy for me to convince myself that I know best. Fortunately, I have managed to avoid being a significant negative impact on anyone, as far as I can tell.

Without going into great detail, though, I’ve been fiddling around with fate in subtle ways in the past several months, and, after several false starts, I can say that I’ll be checking that item off my list now, times two. And I’m feeling rather high from the satisfaction that that check mark is giving me. In fact, I’m rather addicted to the feeling. I highly recommend it. I want more of it. I’ll have to get awfully creative to keep feeding this addiction, but yeah, I want more of it.

If you ever get the chance to raise someone up, do it. Do it, and don’t look for thanks. Believe me, the feeling that you’ll get is thanks enough. And chances are, someday that person will pay it forward. So it’s kind of the gift that keeps on giving.

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The ultimate form of recycling: Buy my book, read it, and then donate it to your local public library or your neighborhood little free library!  http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

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