“Want to make an impact …”

Isnt that a sentence which you also hear quite often? I just recently heard it from many people all ranging in the age 25 – 30+. It is very different to what my generation said and wanted to do – we wanted to change the world or at least things. But did we also want to have an impact? What does impact actually mean? … I just googled it and found interesting stuff:

The Cambridge Dictionary says the following: “The force with which one thing hits another or with which two things hit each other. The impact of the crash destroyed the car. The bullet explodes on impact (=at the moment when it hits something):”

If you google “make an impact” and select pics you will see how many of those posters with that phrase are out there. Its used in job postings, in motivational poems, for trainings and business advertisements. Look at the page below:


It is really fascinating!!

Wiktionary.org tells us the origin of impact is in latin: impactus (could have known that as I did lots of latin lessons in school …haha), perfect pasive participle of impingo (“dash against, impinge”). And listen to this: the translation is: “a collision”, “the force or energy of a collision of two objects”, “a forced impinging” or “a significant or strong influence”! Here you go finally a kind of positive meaning …. and if you scroll down to the section “Verb” you find also then the VERY OFTEN used phrase “to have an impact on”, to influence, to affect. So no wonder that you will find lots of those people that generation as Influencer in the social medias and they like to call themself as “INFLUENCER”! Yes! They want to have an impact on us on the world on what ever you can think off, so let them have it. 🙂 …

Adjectives are often applied to “impact” if it is used as a noun such as social, political, physical, positive, negative, good, bad, beneficial, harmful, significant, great, important, strong, big, small, real, huge, likely, actual, potential, devastating, disastrous, true, primary ….. So what KIND of impact wants that generation?

I sense that they want to have an social impact for sure, not so sure about the political impact though if I just recall recent elections in various countries where young people didnt vote and elderly politicians are still in big roles in their party rather then younger people (ok, the french Prime Minister aside) … Physical impact? Again not so sure 😉 Leaves as with the other adjectives for the impact which surely the generation wants to have. However before we are exploring one of those impacts one comment: having an impact doesnt mean minor little things such as selecting for example an layout for an article and  saying “I am so glad that we went for the bees”! rather then having an real input on content and therefore making a difference and having an impact!.

So let´s spend some more thoughts on positive impact Forbes has an great article descriping the 9 core behaviors of people who positivly impact the world. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/06/02/9-core-behaviors-of-people-who-positively-impact-the-world/

  1. They dedicate themselves to what gives their life meaning and purpose.
  2. They commit to continually bettering themselves.
  3. They engage with people in open, mutually-beneficial ways.
  4. They invest time and energy not in what is, but what can be.
  5. They embrace critique.
  6. They spread what they know.
  7. They uplift others as they ascend.
  8. They view the journey as the goal.
  9. They use their power and influence well.

One of my best friends she is someone like this! She quit her job last year to start her own business as she strongly felt she had to do something which gives her life meaning and purpose and if I read down the above list of 9 core behaviors: That is so much HER! So there are some really great people making an impact on us, on the world ….

BUT be careful!! Wiktionary tells us also that there are some English speaker who are so averse to the verb sense that they have become hypersensitive to the use and for some the word is just an cliché now as the overuse has lead to it. So a big task for the next generation to find a new phrase (maybe they have done already but I havent heard about it, so if you know the phrase of the 20 year olds please let me know!!




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