There are many conversations I’ve over the years from which I remember one phrase that was said. Nothing else, just one phrase that has stuck and keeps impacting me today. Some of these conversations have changed the path of my life, others changed my thinking, and so on.
The thing is the person who said these things rarely remembers saying them. It is not the ‘sayer’ but the ‘hearer’ who remembers. And, if you are anything like me, you never told the other the impact what they said has had on you or your life.
And here’s the thing – the person doing the speaking may have thought they ‘got it wrong’ in the conversation with you. Perhaps it was a speech, conference talk, presentation or whatever that they felt they ‘missed the mark’. And yet, years later it changed the course of action in a person, a team, or organisation.
We never know. We never know when what we say meets what’s going on in someone else creating long lasting impact. So that talk you thought you failed at, perhaps it didn’t change the world immediately, but perhaps it was the final piece needed to spur change in a person or team. And you’ll never know.
So when you feel you ‘missed the mark’ remember the ocean is full of drips of water. Then go and make another drip. We change each other regardless of whether or not we are acknowledged.
Side note: The impact can be negative or positive, but I’ve been thinking about positive impact here.