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Your Life Will Be Defined by How You Affect Other People

December 14, 2023

In the grand quest for meaning and purpose in human existence, we overlook the simplest truths of life. One might delve into various philosophies, religions, or even the astrological signs, but the answer to life’s profound question is closer to home, in the everyday interactions we have every day. The true measure of our lives is not in the heights we reach, but in the impact we have on those around us.

Free Cheerful multiethnic students having high five with teacher Stock Photo

Every interaction is an exchange of energy—be it positive or negative—and it’s worth asking: Are people drawn to your positive energy? Do they leave feeling uplifted after an encounter with you? Are you a source of empowerment and acknowledgment or just another person who indifferently crosses their path or, worse, makes their journey even more difficult?

Society has taught us to value personal happiness above all else, yet this pursuit often leads down a path of self-centeredness, where the ego reigns supreme. However, I have witnessed that those who live egocentric existences, focusing solely on their happiness, often find themselves in a paradox of unhappiness.  They also see their circle of true friends contract with time.

Instead, imagine starting each day with a simple intention: How can I make a positive difference in someone’s life today? It doesn’t have to be grand gestures. Sometimes, it’s the person who offers a smile, lends an ear, or makes someone feel seen and valued that brings about a needed personal boost.  Help people see the good in themselves and others.

We all need to feel we matter to someone else, or otherwise, life can feel rudderless and empty. Sadly, this is what I believe is causing so much anger and frustration these days.  If you feel anonymous and devalued, then acting out may feel like your only option to gain attention.  It can also be a gateway to depression.

Media and information sources bombard us with negative messages aimed at making us feel inadequate. In addition, many people work for bosses who only find fault and offer criticism. Yet, when we come across individuals who radiate positivity, who see the potential in us, and who motivate us to unearth our best selves, we can’t help but be drawn to them. They make us feel ‘more than’. They don’t subtract from our essence; they add to it. They are the ones who encourage us to shine brightly.  Are you that type of person?

We live in a world rife with complexities, and while there are countless intricate questions to ponder, being of value to others should not be one of them. We are here to make a difference and to leave a lasting positive legacy. That might start with family, extend to friends, and then to a broader circle of influence, perhaps as a parent, a boss, or simply a neighbor.

No matter the stage or role we find ourselves in, the answer remains consistent: be of service, help, and support to others, especially when they need it. In doing so, we not only alter the trajectory of our lives but also redefine the essence of our shared human experience.

It is rarely just about you, but almost always about your impact on others.