Being Impressive
tom walsh


I've met so few people who don't impress me at all that it's almost scary.  Everyone impresses me in certain ways.  Somehow we grow up thinking that only those people who do extraordinary things and who have received public recognition are impressive, but I know that in my life, that's far from true.  In fact, I've reached a point at which the people in the public eye don't impress me too much--the only difference between them and others is that someone else has put them in the public eye.  And many of them need to be there, and wouldn't be happy if they weren't.

But I've found a great deal to be impressed about in nearly everyone I've met.  I've met people who do nothing spectacular, but who have lived through tremendous adversity and still have a smile to share with others.  I know people who share their talents with kids and groups and consistently turn out quality products, often for no pay or reimbursement.  I know people who always have a kind word for others, and who treat others with dignity and respect.  I admire the people who see the best in others and try to pull that best out and let it shine--it usually takes me a very long time to see a person's potential, the possibilities that a person has.

But as I grow more adept at recognizing the beauty and talent that others have inside themselves, my life brightens.

I see the world and the people with me very differently, and I'm able to focus on encouraging others, possibly even helping them to feel better about themselves.  And I'm able to look at myself in a much more tolerant and accepting way--I see my own potential, and I give myself credit for the abilities I have.

And what's my point?  It can best be seen by asking yourself a couple of questions:  Who are you?  What gifts do you have to give to the world?  To whom can you give these gifts?

I know that there are many impressive qualities in you.  Some people let them out, others don't.  But we're all created with our own unique gifts, and though most of us aren't the "most gifted" at anything we do, we still have a great deal to offer others.  Imagine what an orchestra would sound like if the first violinist or first cellist were the only ones playing, if those who were seated in the chairs behind them didn't play because they didn't feel they had anything to offer because they weren't the best.  The music would be thin, weak, and diminished.  What aren't you giving to the world because you're not the best at it, or because someone you know is much better at it than you?

Sometimes, when I'm feeling tired and a bit down, I remind myself that even if the only gift I give to the world today is a bit of encouragement to someone else, that's enough.  I have other gifts to share, and I try my best to share them.  One thing I'm sure of is this:  even if my gifts are rejected, the important thing is that they were offered in the first place.

Your gifts are impressive.  Use them, develop them, and let people see just how impressive you can be.  Don't expect anyone to recognize it or tell you that they notice it--be an impressive person for the sake of making yourself an impressive person and of making your life brighter.  You're worth it.  And we'll appreciate it.


Our lives are shaped by the way we perceive ourselves.  The all-important
attitudes by which we perceive and evaluate ourselves tell us who
we are and describe the appropriate behavior for such a person.
We live and die according to our self-perception.

John Powell


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