Think of the people in your life… people you’ve just met, known for years, unintentionally hurt, been brutally honest with, and the people you love.
Each one of these people means something to you because of your shared moments of impact.
Our interactions with people shape us — they hold the potential to refine us into better versions of ourselves. The Stanford Institute even links the way we handle people to the amount of money we earn. They found the amount of money made in any endeavour is only 12% influenced by knowledge and 88% by how we interact and deal with people.
We have the opportunity to learn, grow, and mature because of our daily interactions with others. One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. But in order to become sharper, in order to grow from our interactions with others — we need to recognise the moments of impact happening to us and because of us.
What is a Moment of Impact?
How do we know what moments really make a difference?
Channing Tatum’s character, Leo, defines “moments of impact” well in the movie The Vow. He says, “The thing is each person is a sum total of every moment we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history, like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play in our minds over and over again.”
See, our interactions with people cause us to think about the world differently. When these interactions cause us to change our lives, that’s a moment of impact.
Let me give you some examples.
My friend Jim is a single dad who has raised an amazing son, Mason. Mason is now almost 30 years old. When Mason was 14, he and Jim were arguing about yard work and chores. In frustration, Jim turned to his son and said, “I’m sorry son. I’ve never had a 14-year-old before and I’m doing the best I can.”
Mason looked at his dad and said, “Well, I’m sorry too. I’ve never been a 14-year-old before and I’m doing the best I can.”
For Jim, that was a moment that totally changed how he viewed his son. He no longer saw Mason as a lazy, contrary, 14-year-old, but as a young boy struggling to become a man.
Here’s another example: A couple of years ago at a training seminar, I walked by my friend and colleague Eileen Gellar. She paused, looked up at me, smiled, and said, “You have the most perfect posture!”
Really? I’d always assumed I had lousy posture and thought my shoulders looked awkward. I still find myself standing a bit taller and holding myself a little more erect all because of that 5-second interaction.
I also think about my friends Tanner and Tiffany who drove an hour in a snowstorm just to have dinner with me when I was in their home state of Montana.
I think about the encouraging texts I get from my colleagues before I speak at an event.
These moments of impact are all around us — in major life circumstances and in brief conversations — and they change us significantly.I am who I am because of the people in my life and these positive moments of impact.
What Difference Can YOU Make?
Most of us will meet an average of 10,000 people in our lifetime.
… that’s a lot of people.
If each of us changed the lives of just ten of those people, and those people changed the lives of ten more people, in five generations (125 years) we will have changed the lives of over 32 million people.
Moments of impact matter.
Who are you investing in?
Who’s investing in you?
Our interactions with others can make a difference. Moments of impact are happening all around us — don’t miss them.