Sunday, August 15, 2010

Curious about Impact: Are You Creating an Impact? How? What Impacts You?

Definition of Impact: To drive close; to press firmly together: to wedge into a place. Contact or impression by touch; collision; forcible contact; force communicated. The single instantaneous stroke of a body in motion against another either in motion or at rest.

The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” - Tony Robbins, American author

Let me tell you the story that prompted this week’s theme of impact – my impact and what impacted me. As I have mentioned before, I teach 12 fitness classes a week. These classes are part of a program called SilverSneakers. The participants are members of health clubs hand picked by the program. They are paid for by their health insurance companies and are all 65 years of age and above.

Our goal is a functional one to prepare the students for their activities of daily living. Our mission includes fitness, friends, and fun. We work with resistance tools for muscular strength and range of movement, along with cardiovascular health. The size of the classes – 30 to 35 participants – indicates part of the impact I am making and the participants’ enthusiasm and fitness progress provides me with impact from them.

On Monday – when I teach three classes in a row – I was informed when I got to the club, that the workout studio’s air conditioning wasn’t working and they wanted to cancel all my classes. The participants were devastated and begged me to teach. I made them promise that if they stopped feeling well from the heat that they would leave. I ended up teaching all three classes and no one left. What an impact that had on me and on them! Commitment won! Hooray!

So what makes an impact on you? I am impacted by the Internet and all of what I am learning there. I am impacted by superior customer service. Aren’t we all? I am impacted by genuine smiles, by positive words, by sincerity and by caring.

Now, let’s share what some of our experts had to say about impact:

  • Design can have such a positive impact on the way people live and on their relationships and moods.” - Genevieve Gorder, American designer
  • Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” - Solomon Ortiz, American politician
  • I think journalism is a great way to do public service, to have an impact on your community.” - Bob Schieffer, American journalist
  • We're at unique point in history where the things that we are building are going to significantly impact our social, political, economical, and personal lives.” - Anita Borg, American scientist
  • Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.” - Harold Kushner, American clergyman
  • I have not fully had the opportunity to evaluate the impact of cameras in the courtroom.” - Lance Ito, American judge

And, a few more:

  • It is important to remember that all business has an impact on the lives of real people.” – Lee R. Raymond, American actor
  • Pictures can and do make a difference. Strong images of historical events do have an impact on society. They can help with change.” - Charles Moore, American photographer
  • So I started chanting when I was nineteen, which was about twelve years ago, and it really had a huge impact on my outlook, happiness, and general creativity.” - Duncan Sheik, American musician
  • We expect all our businesses to have a positive impact on our top and bottom lines. Profitability is very important to us or we wouldn't be in this business.” - Jeff Bezos, American businessman
  • Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change - it can not only move us, it makes us move.” - Ossie Davis, American actor
  • I can't imagine a more fulfilling thing for a writer than that you've made a strong impact on the lives of other people. Just because I've heard it before does not mean I don't want to hear it one more time.” - Armistead Maupin, American novelist

And a true, but humorous, one from English business woman, Anita Roddick, “If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

So, how are you making an impact? And, what is impacting you? I would love to read your feedback.