Volume 3 of 5 in the “Change” Series
To best understand the use of the word “Impact” in relation to this series we should define it this way:
“-have a strong effect on someone or something.”
Simply put, IMPACT is the in your face, direct, and personal means by which change occurs in our world.
There is a reason we use the word impact for things like a collision or a physical hit. When an asteroid strikes the Earth, it hits with an “impact.”
When I was a young boy, I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in martial arts. I loved learning the techniques which helped me learn to control my movements and cause a direct effect, or impact, on my opponent. I knew when I landed a strike I made an impact which would change how my opponent acted.
I was not aware at the time that the methods my instructors used to coach me would include other elements of impact. The obvious one would be if I missed blocking a strike I’d certainly feel an impact. Pain can be a good teacher. However, there does not need to be a physical element involved for impact to take effect. Let me give you an example.
At the beginning of the class all the students would line up into rows, and we would do some warm up drills as a class. We would learn and practice together, but this was not where the “real” learning took place. About half-way through the class, everyone would break up into groups and work on the different techniques and moves specific to our individual advancement. During this time the instructors would make their way around to each student and try to spend a little one-on-one time.
The class was an hour long, but in just a few minutes where I had the direct, complete, and sole attention of the instructor, was where the IMPACT occurred. If there was something you were struggling with it would be answered right then and there. If a move proved too difficult, you would get the guidance and reassurance you needed to overcome the obstacles. It was the impact (the personal touch) the Instructor would share which had the most effect in achieving positive results.
This concept works with almost every other aspect of our life. IMPACT is the single most personal and intimate topic of the “Three “I’s” of Change.” When something needs to change, but there are no results to be seen; it is usually from a lack of impact where needed.
For example, a loved one may have an addiction of some kind, but they are refusing to take the steps necessary to move away from their problem. It may be time for some much more direct IMPACT to be applied. An intervention by friends or family might be needed.
Often people are not very willing to be a person of impact because they do not wish to face confrontation or to cause any pain to the other person. However, we must remember how wonderful a teacher “pain” is. If a punch to the ribs can teach us how to block against a strike, then maybe an in your face reality check is needed for someone to wake up to a serious problem in their life.
A true friend, someone who truly loves you, will be willing to step-up and strike right at the heart of the problem. They are willing to do so knowing you may fight back; accepting it will hurt, but realizing it is a good kind of pain focused on helping. Being someone willing to step right into the heart of things are true marks of both maturity and love.
Parents do not like to yell at their children because it can scare, hurt, or frustrate them, but it is necessary sometimes for their benefit and safety. When you work out your muscles, you know it is healthy and helping them to grow stronger, but it can certainly be uncomfortable and even hurt to endure.
As a society, it seems people are less and less willing accept there is such a thing as “healthy” pain. One of the very best tools which can help a person to grow and prosper in life is if they have others in their life willing to use some “IMPACT” when and where it is needed.
Now, for the cool part. It is not always necessary for someone else to be the person who creates IMPACT in your life. The human mind is so wondrous that it can create impact for ourselves. Sometimes we become aware of something in our life which needs some impact, and we do not have, or may not need, another person to be the one to “hit” us with it.
As human beings, we have the unique ability to become self-aware of troubles or problems, and even motivate ourselves to fix or remove them from our life.
There is one key factor you must utilize to become a person who can use IMPACT in your life, and the lives of others. You must have courage! The courage to confidently do what is needed. Courage to stand up face-to-face and say what needs to be said. The kind of courage recognized and seen by others as doing what needs to be done for the better. The courage to embrace being a person of IMPACT may mean you have to hurt someone to save them or help them, even if it means they strike back or ostracize you.
If we compare INFLUENCE to IMPACT; influence requires the trust to be established but leaves the effect in the hands of the other person; impact is what can be done directly to help change someone for the better but requires courage. When you use these two elements together, they become exponentially more effective. However, neither relies on the other. You may not need to be influential to have an impact on someone’s life. Likewise, even if you have influence, you may not be achieving enough impact to inspire change.
Where Influence might be used to convince a group of people to change one or two things, Impact can be used to change a person’s entire world. One of my favorite phrases is:
“One person may not change the world, but one kind act can change someone’s entire world!”
“Impact” may be something simple and small to a crowd, but has a profound effect on the person who feels it. INFLUENCE usually requires a great deal of effort and only causes a small effect to those it touches, it just does it to more people at one time.
You may be a person of “influence,” but may do very little to affect change in someone’s world directly. However, if you are a person of “impact,” while you are less likely to be renowned or recognized by many people, you will have the most effect on change for the people in your life.
I will share a little more of how Impact works to create change in the final blog of this series. Next, I want to go a little deeper on the topic of “Inspiration.”
For more on each of the other topics in this “Change” series review their respective blogs listed below:
3 “I’s” of Change (1 of 5)
Change is Influence (2 of 5)
Change is Inspiration (4 of 5)
Change the World (5 of 5)