It is funny how much our impression on the world begins to matter as we go through life. The measure of finances becomes irrelevant (beyond giving us basic safety) and replaced is the effect of our presence in it. We look at our community, at our friends, and beyond to see how we can put them up.
How can I give YOU value has become my mantra. Every second of every moment I am with someone I am seeking to be present for them. By this effort, I benefit. Maybe not in a physical, transactional, or monetarily. Instead I achieve my lofty goal, of making a difference and mattering to this person.
I like others am chasing dreams and seeking to accomplish them. That pursuit can equally happen in these moments. In fact, if they can help — great, but if not, it is still a win.
My pursuit today is about balancing impact with these moments.
Why are you doing anything matters. It can be to provide for your family, a noble cause. It can also be for yourself, an equally important cause because if you are unhealthy and unsatisfied what is the point?
Purpose also comes down to the activities and mission on hand. Purpose can be a technical challenge that you and your team are pursuing. It can be a mission to bring up the citizens of Rwanda. It can also be to help your local community.
The power of purpose is that it is not a material achievement, it is a journey of pursuit towards a vision of the possible future. The finish line isn’t really a finish line, but is instead an impact. For instance, I am not working to build a hospital in Rwanda to have a building. I am building it to change the life trajectory of the citizens in the region through health and medical execution. As a result, I am investing to work in person with the cohorts at the hospital to transfer knowledge and setup recurring monthly sessions. The purpose is powering these actions, and can lift up your day.
Awareness of progress
If time is our yardstick in life and purpose measures the impact, how do we become aware of our progress? How do you become self aware and how can you create the impact you seek?
These are questions I ask often and have found a few meaningful and successful practices. The model and approach are not unique to me, but in fact after detailed exploration, is a method mirrored by many of the most impactful people in the world.
Becoming self aware
You need to self discover, I cannot tell you. This is a journey that is unique to you, which means you are the only one who can truly know you — and the impact you have becomes incredibly individual. The result is a world that only benefits from your actions based on your self awareness. Incredible isn’t it?
Self awareness of what matters begins with you writing down daily what matters in your life. Then drafting, in a journal if that is your way, what you care about and are working towards.
Journal, Vlogging, and social media unlocks
For instance, I write these down as Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Pulling from business literature, but that is only one path. I do this daily and allow my heart and life pull these accordingly in different directions and intensities.
VLOGGING and online social media (more Instagram and TikTok than Facebook) platforms are also insightful tools to see your self. We find that these vlogs and social media elements tend to be our ‘BEST SELF’ but not always our honest self. Though, currently there is a trend towards more authentic struggle, pain, hurt, and success, these sites can be incredible unlocks into your self.
Review and chart
As we document our dreams, priorities, and passions we begin to leave marks in the sands of time. Looking at each one doesn’t really tell us much, but when you look back you see a trend and underlying theme. Here is the space and unlock for your self awareness.
Ask these questions to illuminate your self:
- What are you focused on?
- What is the theme?
- Are there people, community, family, students making regular appearances?
- What about types of projects and causes?
- Are there passions and loves that appear and then disappear because you got “busy”?
- Have you begun building on passions that accumulate to causes you care about up to today?
- Have items, ideas, and efforts appeared that are not really you but added because of pressure and others?
You will find work you have been pursuing that you love. You’ll see things that came and went based on fads and peer pressure. Looking back at a period of 3–6 months will give you massive insight into your self, and where not only your energy has been spent. It will also show what you care about, but perhaps haven’t had the impact you desired.
What matters? That is the question to ask yourself, and then to use that to see the impact you are capable of bringing to your space in the world.
Impact is also personal and selfless. It is a desire to improve, change, or shift the trajectory of a place, people, or even a way of thinking. This can be done at the micro level in your specific area of employment, with your kids, your company, or on a much grander scale.
To achieve the impact we seek we must have a vision of what we wish to impact and then simply build accordingly. What is the challenge here, is for us to make this impact we have to be ok with never being acknowledged for it.
Ego is the enemy here and not a necessary player to success. Accolades and praise are fuel for some on these journeys, but secondary. When you are chasing your passions for these impacts, you are self motivated. We don’t need external encouragement, the work is inevitable. I cannot see myself not working towards this impact.
Find pursuits and impact that reverberate with your soul, and you’ll make the impact you seek
Goals and Impact
Good news, these can change. You’ll discover new paths and find new loves. That is wonderful, and in fact ideal. As you unlock new lessons and skills, the scale of the impact you can have on the world changes. Sometimes more and sometimes less.
Appreciate anything that you pursue and achieve. No judgement on the scale, type, or reason for the effort. Trust your gut, and lead with good intentions.
Only then can your impact be authentic, natural, and appropriate in your day.
Let’s get practical — To achieve, adopt quarterly reviews
Every 3 months pull up your journals and todo lists. See what you were trying to achieve three months ago and how you tracked over that period. How does it fit with your mindset now. Use that as an anchor point to now refocus your energy and days forward.
Literally take a piece of paper out and write out the following headers:
- Big Goals
- 1 Week out
- 2 Weeks out
- 4 Weeks out
Now fill in these categories, beginning with the BIG GOALS, and then working outward. Your intent here is to move the needle on your goals by seeing the next month in blocks. Write in exactly what you must complete to achieve the next phase of your big goals.
This will work. As you gain some momentum after 4 weeks, you can again reset and repeat. I like review everything every 3 months and make the bigger adjustments to my focus and time.
It is also quite alright to see that you are happy with your time allocation and impact. That you are living your authentic life, and that is just right.
My only hope is to see the impact we desire felt, and be satisfied that our efforts are delivering on these ambitions.
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I am a father, study of human behavior, strategist, cybersecurity veteran, and a coach and mentor on a journey to give more than I receive everyday. I lead teams globally, build products, and daily an executive for a leading company where I serve the largest companies in the world using the largest cloud deployments in the world impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries. I provide these publications and content through my media agency to deliver insights and advantages. Mindset, mental strength, mentorship, personal improvement, health, fitness, and humanist ideas are drawn from personal research and practice. Everything read and heard is my original works and my own perspective. All rights reserved for noted authors and sources. I produce research and strategy, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on published findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.