How to make an Impact.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I was once asked by a friend my definition of fulfillment and my reply was simple. Fulfillment to me is when I can live a life beyond myself. It is what John Maxwell will call a life of significance. When you can find yourself and lose yourself in service to others, that’s impact. The big question is, how do I make an impact?

1. Identify your purpose in Life.

The first step to making an impact is to find yourself. You must know your why. It is the essence of your existence. I certainly believe that when we work in purpose we impact the lives of those around us but before purpose comes the recognition of our gifts. Why? Your gifts are the tools you require to achieve purpose. A pertinent question would be, how do I discover my gifts?

Before I outline a few steps to finding your gifts, I believe the foundation of it all is self-introspection. Some of us may have been lucky in life to spot our gifts or have others identify them for us at a little age. This is often true of people with what I would like to call outspoken gifts like Musical gifts, sports, dance, etc. because such gifts are easier to spot in the right environment.

On the other hand, there are scores of people who feel like they are without gifts. The Society we live in today kind of shifts our understanding of gifts. It places greater emphasis on these outspoken gifts. A look at 70% of extra-curricular activities in schools tends to revolve around these more apparent gifts, and this has somewhat ingrained in us the idea that when we are not good dancers, excellent singers, great sportsmen/women, etc. we are left out. What about an ability to easily spot mistakes often overlooked, or an ability to understand complex concepts? How about the ability to easily tell the direction of the future? Don’t these count as gifts? Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon famous for the separation of the Binder twins, in his book, Think Big, wrote that he discovered that he had good eye-hand coordination coupled with an ability to think in three dimensions. So less for a gift, I think?

I certainly believe that we all have gifts but some gifts are more evasive, harder to spot, and tend to revolve more around behind the scenes tasks. What happens is this, in our day to day activities we manifest these evasive gifts but due to the orientation we received from society which we now hold as truths, we don’t recognize these abilities as gifts, so therefore, we fail to appreciate, Harness and build them.

To practice a bit of vulnerability, for a long time in my life, I always felt left out on gifts. After my university education, I had this budding question in my heart; I was unsure if I studied the right course because it seemed to me that my passions where not all that related to the field and I tend to be more emotional than logical. To find answers to my questions, I went back in time to my childhood to trace my steps back to the present, and it became clear to me that my major drive into the engineering field was not borne entirely out of a love for the field but was more hinged on a passion for problem-solving and engineering seemed to be the perfect satisfaction to that yearning. With this, I was able to identify that I possessed this grit when it came to problem-solving and it was not because I took problem-solving classes. It came naturally.

The deepest answers to question about who we are found in us through self- introspection. What we see nowadays is an ever busy generation filled with activities ranging from chatting to movies to games to chores to hangouts to bed and the list goes on. Rarely do we sit and ask questions. We know a lot about our friends but rarely do we meet ourselves in other to know more about who we are. I believe that it is in deep reflection of these thoughts that the philosopher Socrates said.

“Know Thyself.”

If we can truly seat and undertake a journey backwards and reflect on our lives we will observe trends that point to our gifts.

“Self-awareness isn’t only betting on your strengths; it’s accepting your shortcomings. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. Too many people try to be like me because it’s sizzly and it’s sexy and people wanna be charismatic and on stage. So many of you do so many things better than I do. It’s so damn important to stick to your DNA.

You have to honor who you really are because then you won’t bullshit yourself. And the minute you accept who you really are, your life goes on the offense. So self-awareness at its finest is accepting your shortcomings and accentuating your strengths.”

  • Gary Vaynerchuk.

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Designer | Writer | Superhero

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Felix Enyinnaya

Felix Enyinnaya

Designer | Writer | Superhero

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