What Will Your Lasting Impression Be?

Maybe it was a health scare. Or the death of a family member. Whatever the reason, you find yourself asking, “What will my lasting impression be?”

You don’t have to be Mother Teresa or make the cover of Time magazine’s “most influential people” issue to leave a lasting impression. Even the most introverted people will influence 10,000 others in an average lifetime, sociologists say.

When you’re aware of your influence, then you can live with intention, so that your life will leave the impression that you want it to. Whether a simple smile at a stranger today or donating blood to save a life tomorrow, being aware that your actions do have an impact is the first step toward living with intention.

Helping You Focus on What Matters

life-insurance-happy-familyThat is the focus of the Impressions eNewsletter — inspiration and information for living life with purpose. It’s meant to help you focus on what’s important in your life.

The impression you leave on this life and others is your legacy,” Eric Urban, a professional and leadership development coach, wrote in Forbes. “You have the ability to become responsible for your actions and be intentional about your path.”

So how do you live with intention?

Getting Started

On the Simple & Soul blog, Lisa Avellan writes that there is no right or wrong way to live intentionally. She suggests asking yourself questions such as what are the top three priorities in your life and how would you relive today differently if given the chance?

So, what if you find yourself straying from how you want to act — gripping the steering wheel in anger or glancing at your phone when you’re trying to be present with a family member? Use focus words or a mantra to refocus.

For example, a mother trying to focus on her toddler and not a texting co-worker could repeat, “I am present,” or “I am purposeful.” This simple act can be enough to bring you back to how you want to live and be.

Your Lifelong Legacy

While your everyday intentional acts can have a cumulative effect, sometimes “living with intention” takes the form of a single act or decision.

For example, if you know someone whose life was saved by a donated organ, you may register to be an organ donor yourself. For many people, this can be as simple as answering the question when you renew your driver’s license at your local motor vehicle department. Or you can sign up online.

Yet, people who like the idea aren’t following through. While 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 54% are actually signed up as donors, according to organdonor.gov. When you combine those statistics with others on the website, you can begin to see how important follow-through is:

  • One donor can save eight lives.
  • There were 114,000 men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list (as of April 2018), with another person added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • Only three in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation.

Imagine if all those people who support organ donation made a deliberate decision to sign up to donate their organs.

The point of this example is not to register as an organ donor. Rather, it’s to show the power of intention when coupled with action. You can determine the legacy you leave, whether grand gestures or simple everyday acts.