It is clear to me that children are already in tune with the idea that they can make a difference in people’s lives. This raises the question for parents of how to talk with their children about being persons of impact.
“Being a change creator is a mindset utilizing a specific skill set focused on impact. Instead of asking, ‘What does it take to create a happy customer?’ ask, ‘What is the impact that we want to create for our customer?’ When we have a change mindset, we see the difference. We see how what we do creates that difference. We communicate that difference so that we can strengthen our relationship with our customers. We change to adapt ourselves to the needs of our customer. By recognizing this changing difference, we begin to grasp that we are always in transition. “ – Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change, p. 175.
Accounting for Time
Our measuring of time is not by the clock, but by the attention that we give it. If we sit down and become immersed in a really good book, we lose track of time. An hour or two flies by, and yet, we feel time has stood still.
However, if we live with our televisions always on one of the news channels, we begin to see the chapters of each day divided up in 3-minute segments. It becomes exhausting because, in order to claim your attention, there must be an emotional hook. It is hard to have a long view of our lives when our attention and our emotions are being turned off and on throughout the day. It is difficult to know where we are at any moment.
To account for the time that our lives spend, we need to establish a long view. From this perspective, we can take our time, learn as we go along, and not lose ourselves in rapidly fluctuating emotions. We gain focus and commitment to fulfilling some purpose that we can only see as the end of the long view.
The other day a woman came up to me at a book signing. In a few minutes, she told me her life story. She had lived most of her life trying to please people. In return, she had received criticism and lots of advice that had not been helpful. Now in her 60s, she was beginning to see that her life was changing. She saw herself in transition. I asked her,
“Do you believe that you can be a person on impact?”
“Yes! I’ve been thinking about that,” she replied.
I drive long distances to think. The side of my brain that is focused on safe driving allows for my creative side to think uninterrupted for long stretches of time and distance. I drive with a pen and my journal on the seat next to me. Yes, I do pull off the highway to write down notes. There is a kind of sorting out of thoughts that takes place for me as I drive.Today I begin a 50 day road trip across the country.This trip is more open ended. I have destinations, but no absolute route to take, and with that, the time to wander, and time to think.Here’s some of what I’ll be thinking about.
“I did a bad job.”This is how Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens described his performance after the Celtics were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.When was the last time you heard a prominent business or political leader make this claim? Leaders may acknowledge that there are problems and challenges for their organization. It is rare to hear someone own the failure of their performance like Stevens.