Recently during a leadership seminar the speaker used the phrase: “Being safe and making an impact do not happen together.“ As I look around our mask-clad world today I wonder how many impactful activities will be cancelled or postponed? How many impactful events will simply never happen? And how many canceled plans will adversely affect so many others through a ripple effect of events?
In a time and space when our children were given a passing grade and simply moved along to the next stage of their lives, we used to call it “a hall pass.“ And you’re seeing this phenomena today as people have their food delivered, their jobs delivered, their education delivered, their everything delivered. I wonder, where are we headed?
I look around my world and realize we’re living in an age where using cash is frowned on or simply not acceptable, a world where our information comes through a small device that looks and listens back at us. Our lives are directed by actions and decisions that tend toward extreme comfort. Therefore, I can’t help but watch and wonder as the world becomes more complacent and “comfy” with working from home while never having to get dressed or leave for work every day. When we finally emerge from this time and space, we will do so from an environment of “stay safe/stay clean.“ And I wonder if we will look back and say to ourselves “Wow, while I was sitting at home, having my life delivered to me, I am so incredibly proud of the impact I made in the lives of others.”
My guess is most of us would respond with a resounding: “No!”
As human beings, our nature is to form groups and clusters. We need each other to be the best we can be so the group prospers. Just as we require fresh air and hard work to stimulate our health, we need to gather together in meetings, school rooms, parks, teams, backyards, and places of worship. We need weddings and funerals, if only to have opportunities to reach out and hug one another. We need to love and be loved. We desire connection and the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.
If you doubt this hypothesis and consider these the rantings of a sentimental old fool, then consider the overriding urge these last few months to support local businesses and charities and to do what we can to assist those who are struggling or are less fortunate then ourselves.
So, my friends, here is my question: In our businesses and in our lives -- whether it is during COVID times or non-COVID times – when are we making a real selfless and significant impact?
Our founding fathers were on to something because they wanted real change and they wanted to make an impact. Following our independence from Britain, their lives were far from comfy and safe, and their future prosperity was not certain. But through teamwork, debate and unquenchable passion they created a foothold to build on and the structure by which our society thrives to this day
As you make our To-Do Lists to start your day/week/month/quarter, keep in mind that what you focus on — expands. Therefore, I suggest focusing on integrating into your routine the means to allow you to have a significant and measurable impact in the lives of others.
Good luck and God bless.