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Rethinking our impact on the world. Shrinking focus to leverage results.
Good afternoon. As always, I hope this week’s newsletter finds you with a pen in hand ready to jot down some thoughts on this week’s theme: Impact.
Thanks for reading!
“Millennials make decisions based on personal values first and foremost, and the pursuit to maximize impact is at the center of what shapes all of their thinking and choices.”
Wanting to make an impact has become as meaningful as wanting to be successful. Either of these can be defined in countless different ways and mean something different to each of us.
What we really want when we say we’d like to make an impact is to create positive change on a large scale. No one wants to sit around making widgets when you can change the world, but chasing change on such a large scale can be like sharpening your ax for hours on end without ever getting a chance to do any chopping.
Even in a digitally distributed world, the easiest way to make an impact is in our immediate circle of connections. We all want to think big and leave our mark on the world, but what if we focused on something smaller and more realistic?
Instead of trying to instigate global reform or fix a broken industry, what if we focused on trying to help one person? You can dedicate your whole life to the former and never feel like you’ve made any meaningful impact, but anyone reading these words has the resources to meaningful improve the life of someone in their inner circle.
Once you help the first person, move your sights on to the next. Don’t impose yourself on anyone, but help where you can (even if it’s something small) and continue helping with one challenge at a time. They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and the same concept applies here. Helping one person in a small but meaningful way is worth much more than the potential of making an impact on a larger scale one day down the road.
How can I meaningful help someone within my inner circle today?
Where am I holding out for a big impact where I can make a difference right now?
In what areas of my life am I striving to make an impact? Am I succeeding?
Do Things That Don’t Scale - Paul Graham
An essay from Y Combinator’s founder on the value of starting small to set the stage for large scale success down the road
Tiny Habits - BJ Fogg
A book about beginning with laughably small habits, like flossing one tooth, to instigate meaningful behavior change
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