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Tip of the Week: How Have You Made an Impact?

In her very last show, Oprah commented that she always wanted to be a teacher. Although she was never a classroom teacher, she found a way to teach in a classroom that touched millions of people each day for a quarter of a century. She also awakened others to their own love of learning through building schools, providing scholarships, starting her book club, and
empowering people to learn throughout their lives.

What Does This Have to Do with My Green Career, You Ask?

Most of the people I work with want to make more of a difference. They want to have an impact on their local community, the country, or the world.
One way to unlock this side of your future is to explore where you've had an impact in the past. With a short trip down memory lane you could uncover a clue that opens up new possibilities for your career.

What Impact Have You Made?

At first glance you may think you've done nothing to make an impact, but really, EVERY one of us makes a difference...every day whether we know it or not!

Each one of us has touched many lives through our actions, whether those actions were our conscious intention or not.

  • For some, your biggest impact has been through the work you do.
  • For others it's that actions you've taken within your family,
  • For others it may be a role you've played in your neighborhood, your community, your region, or beyond.
I know it's easy to downplay the impact we've had because it doesn't match the super-sized impact of Oprah or other star philanthropists, but more often than not, what seems like a small, seemingly insignificant conversation or action to you CAN have a huge impact to those around you.

Making a Difference in Your Life

As you scan the questions below, think about how they might apply in all areas of your life from your professional work, to your personal life, to the work you've done in service through volunteering.

  • Who Have You Touched? - As you review your life, think of the beings you've touched - the people and the animals. 
Make a list of individuals or groups you've impacted. What qualities or characteristics are common across those on your list?If you don't think you've made much of a difference, who did you wish you could help? 
-An age group
-A particular life circumstance
-Geographic location 
-Or something else that is repeated
  • What Did You Do? - As you consider each group, jot down how you provided support to them...whether they were in your work place, your home, your community, or beyond.
-Did you tutor? Coach? Mentor?
-Did you make repairs for them? 
-Did you listen? 
-Did you support someone through a difficult time?
-Did you show them something new?
-Did you give them an opportunity to have fun and play?
-Did you help them sort out their feelings in a difficult situation?
  • What Was the Impact? As you consider the impact you had on those you've touched think of how you intended to impact them and how your support may have had longer lasting effects.
If you set out to tutor someone, then
-Your direct service was teaching them how to read or do math. 
-The indirect impacts of your time may have been building their confidence, opening doors to higher education, or giving them the opportunity to gain better employment.
What Do These Memories and Insights Tell You about Your Green Career Direction? 

Although what you've written down as a result of this newsletter article may feel unrelated to your green career, take a deeper look. There's often a thread or a hint that runs through your life that can show you what is both fulfilling and a natural way for you to interact with those around you.

The connection to your green career may not be obvious at first. Just let the ideas incubate to see what possibilities open up for you.  
 Copyright 2011, Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc.
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