Last night, I met up with the entire group I had traveled to Israel with. I hadn’t seen nearly any of them for the last month since we’ve been back, so it was a lot of catch up.
And, fascinatingly, the first thing three different people said to me was, “I read your blog all the time now. It’s so inspiring.”
It took me by surprise, as it always does when people in my “real life” (i.e. local community) tell me they read my blog. Because, unless people comment on social media, or the rare times that I check open rates, I kind of have no idea who’s reading it.
I just assume I’ll put it out there, and it’ll reach whomever it needs to reach. And that’s that.
And it made me start reflecting on impact. In a world where metrics rule so hard that even 17-year-olds are conscious of the validation every word they say receives, it can kind of feel like impact has become the proverbial forest—if it wasn’t liked on Facebook, did it really happen? Or, maybe more aptly, was it impactful at all?
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, artists, healers, and activists every day. And I see how disheartening it can be to be working your work out there again and again and not really sure it’s making any difference, any impact in the world.
If it’s not getting hundreds—or thousands—or likes and comments and shares, it might feel like no one is being affected. And, if we’re talking about Facebook, it might not be stoking the algorithm to get us the reach, either.
But how will we ever know our impact? How will I ever know if smiling at someone in the street completely changed their entire day? If something I said has someone laughing the next day? If an off-hand comment inspires a huge life change in someone in my life? If even witnessing my own transformation has space a transformation in another?
Quite frankly, I have no idea. And I probably can’t have any idea. But does that make it any less impactful?
It seems to me that we are more interconnected than we want to admit. That we affect each other in profound ways every day. And the impact we have on the world is both immense and often unseen.
And the only thing we can do—at least the only thing I can do—is show up. Every day. As ourselves. Doing what we really, really love to do. Not for the validation. Because, quite frankly, if we do it for that, we’ll lose sight of what we’re actually doing. But for ourselves. Because it’s our greatest contribution to the world. Because we love it so goddamn much. Because it’s a natural expression of who we are.
It’s why I write so often. Because I’m grateful I can. And because words are flowing through me. I can feel them moving through my veins. And I can choose to suppress that out of fear or resentment that it’s not making the impact that I want. Or I could just share. Just express myself. And let the chips fall where they may.
Speaking of Israel, this all reminds me of a story that happened the first time I was in Israel. I had met a group of soldiers on my trip, and we traveled with them for five days. And, at the end of the trip, the soldiers surprised as at the airport—coming from all over the country—just to say goodbye.
And each soldier gave one of the Americans a gift. But no one gave me a gift. So, admittedly a little offended, I turned to check in for my flight. And then one, my friend Tal, tapped me on the shoulder and took off his dog tags. He told me that I had changed his life. That meeting me and so much of what I said had changed his life. And he wanted to give me the most personal thing he owned to thank me.
I spent a 12-hour flight home contemplating what the hell I possibly said or did that could have changed his life. Because that was news to me. I was just being myself.
And then I got it. Unseen impact. The greatest gift we can ever give to the world—or anyone in it—is ourselves. Just showing up and being ourselves. Not for validation or likes or whatever arbitrary metrics we feel can measure impact. Because it can’t. It never can.
We can only do what we feel called to do in the world. And trust the magic that’s happening all around us.
And, in my experience, that magic is far greater than you could ever imagine. I’ve seen husbands leave jobs of 20 years after a wife had a transformation in the Sacred Circle. I’ve seen friends start self-work after witnessing transformations at the Mastermind level. I’ve seen so many transformations—big and small—that were shocking. And, for all of those, I’m sure there are millions of unseen ones that we may never see.
But we can just know that if we are doing the very best thing we can do in this world—whatever it is that we feel called to do in any given moment—then we are most certainly impacting lives. More lives than we will ever know.
So remember why you’re doing this. Remember that metrics don’t equal impact. That transformation can be quiet and below the surface. And that doing what you feel called to do is always the most impactful thing you can do in any given situation.
The only way people won’t be impacted by your work is if you don’t share it. And who knows how many people you’d be depriving of magical transformation?
Share yourself. And impact the world.