How to Have a Life With Impact

I studied successful men and women throughout my years at university. Successful people who, whether you agreed with them or not, have written books whole generations of people have read. Creative thinkers in their field who invented theories. Visionaries who changed the course of history. 

The biggest commonality between all these creative visionaries with such incredible impact can be summed up in three words: They Showed Up.

Showing up means we live our lives with intention. We decide to live our dreams and goals with less fear and  greater clarity and purpose. 

So what are the 3 key elements of showing up for our lives so we can have the greatest impact in our own world? 

  1. 1. Show up for yourself.

Spend time thinking about what you think and how you feel. This is important because nobody else will do it for you. When you begin to understand your thoughts and beliefs, you will begin to see how those thoughts impact your emotions. Your emotions then impact how you act.  Understanding this chain reaction is key to understanding who you are and why you do what you do.   

2. Show up for other humans. 

What you do alongside other humans matters. It’s important for you, for them, and for the wider human community that we show up for each other. It’s integral to our success as humans that we learn from each other, and appreciate how we are all connected. 

Sometimes, showing up for ourselves and others can be uncomfortable. It might mean we have to wade into uncomfortable territory and awkward situations, which leads us to the third point. 

3. Show up for scary situations. 

Fear is not something to be conquered. Fear, just like all of our emotions, is something to listen to and learn from. Stepping into situations that are scary and stretch our comfort zone is important for personal growth. 

Scary situations create fear in us and cause tension and stress. But tension and stress is built into the fabric of the universe. Some level of stress and tension is necessary for learning and growing. So in order to gain inner and outer peace we sometimes have to sort through conflict. 

Successful People Show Up

Every single person I read about or learned about in school, showed up. They showed up for scary situations, for others, or for themselves…and usually all three. And they kept showing up, even when the road was long and the path unclear. 

Maybe you’re not a theorist like Hannah Arendt, or a economist like Adam Smith, or a community organizer like Saul Alinsky….all individuals who, while not perfect, changed the course of history using the skills and strengths they had.

What you can do is consider how you can impact your world with the unique set of skills and strengths you have. You can keep showing up for yourself, for others, and for scary situations. The common key to a successful life of meaning and impact is as simple, and as difficult, as that.

Show up friends. Just show up.