We are brought up to see success as having impacted other people’s lives in some way. Helped them improve, given them something they need, provided them a service. None of this is a bad thing!
We then compare ourselves to others and feel that we haven’t made enough impact. We know this partly because we haven’t been as rewarded financially. We know this because we haven’t managed to buy enough stuff.
So we aspire, we become driven, we set aside unimportant things like spending time with families or in nature in order to focus on making more impact, making more money, buying more stuff.
We then do this collectively as society. It is seen as an essential aspect of modern civilisation to be achieving progress, seeing things as wanting and needing improved, and then setting about making an impact on the world. We are encouraged to do this in our millions.
And there’s the problem. Our planet is suffering as a result of all our efforts, our industriousness, our busyness. We aspire to make an impact – but more often than not we end up leaving a stain.
Maybe it’s my age but I am less and less concerned with making an impact.