I know it’s that time of the year where everything is coming to a close – end of fourth quarter, closing down businesses for the holidays, end of year parties, and so on and so forth. With that also comes, end of year reviews – both personal and career reviews.
So you’ll notice a lot of “The Year in Review” going on all around us right now – formal and informal. And as human beings, we can’t help to review our own lives too. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
Studies have shown that we’re more likely to remember the negative things in our lives than the positive ones. That’s why being thankful is an important habit to cultivate.
The other day, I caught myself looking back to the “almost” past year. And all I could focus on were the goals I wasn’t able to accomplish. For a few moments there I became introspective and quite frankly a little down. No. Strike that. A lot down!!! Negative thoughts have a way of doing that to you.
But all of a sudden, I remembered a letter, I’d received during the week. Someone from Tasmania, Australia had sent me a note to say, “Thank You. Your generosity in sharing your info is wonderful!”. She’d downloaded a copy of my FREE marbling book. She told me she teaches a wide variety of surface design techniques in Australia.
So, I began to think about her note. How many of her students will learn marbling, how many will discover their creative gifts, stop procrastinating their joy and live more meaningful lives because their teacher downloaded my book? I would never know. If it’s just one person who discovers joy and shares it with her family, that’s one HUGE impact, I should be thankful for.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of ascribing value only to the tangible things you’ve accomplished during the year. That’s what I did.
When it comes to achievements, it’s natural to focus only on what we can see and touch like income, promotion, production, sales etc. But the intangible achievements related to impact, we readily discount.
Intangible Achievements Matter
What do I mean when I say impact achievements? Those are the things you did which affected the way you made people feel. The way you make them think about themselves, shift their mindsets and put them on positive trajectories, are powerful impact achievements. Yet we often discount them too quickly. Maybe because not many people notice or even get to hear about your impact achievements or tell you the impact you’ve had on their lives.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
But the truth is, it shouldn’t matter whether your impact is on the life of one human or several. You should celebrate your impact no matter the size of your audience or the number of recipients.
Whether you’re a grandmom or mom nurturing creativity and teaching your children that it’s okay for them to freely express themselves or you’re an artist sharing your gift with the world, your achievements are made up of both the ways you impact lives as well as your tangible achievements. Don’t discount that.
Review Your Year the Right Way
In the next couple of weeks when you sit down with your cup of tea 🙂 to review your year, remember to add up your impact achievements. And as you set goals for the coming year, don’t forget to set some impact goals in addition to your income and other more tangible goals.
That way, you’ll have a more balanced outlook on your life’s achievements and your goals/mission.
Question: Do you consider your impact goals when reviewing your life or have you discounted them in the past? Leave your comments below.
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Also published on Medium.