The Impact We Have On Others

by Lance Ekum on · 37 comments

Creative Commons License photo credit: Cheekybikerboy

“When you love people and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact upon the world, then will you have accomplished the meaning to live.” ~ Sasha Azevedo

How do our actions (or inactions) affect other people?  Sometimes we know right away.  Sometimes we never know.  The thing is, though, that we never know when our actions might affect someone in ways we never realize.

Life is full of opportunities to be a positive influence on others.  Or a negative influence on others.  We have the choice.  And what we do or don’t do can be the difference between someone else soaring to new heights or floundering where they are.

When I began writing here, I was writing mostly for me.  At first there were very few visitors.  That’s probably common.  In a sea of blogs, mine was another one amongst many.  I had no established posting pattern.  I was new.  I was still learning (I still am).

Then one day I stumbled upon a site that had many answers to some of the questions I had in this new world I’d entered.  A site that seemed to genuinely care for it’s visitors, and it’s visitors for the site.  I had happened upon Barbara over at Blogging Without A Blog.  Barbara had a strong community of supporters, and people who genuinely wanted to help others to succeed.  What a great place to visit!

One of the features on Barbara’s website is something she calls “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW).  She picks a new blog each week (one that has not been around very long, less that four months I believe) and highlights it on her site for the week.  And, although Barbara had already made an impact on me just from the reading I was doing at her site, through her generous heart, she asked me to be highlighted on her site as NBOTW in early July. And, this is where her impact had a very profound and positive affect on me.  She offered me her world, and in turn, I was able to introduce my blog to a group of very community-oriented people.  A group of people that could help to give my writing more meaning.  This moment became the one where I was able to take my writing to the next level.  A chance to really share with others.  A defining moment in my writing.

And, she does this every week, choosing a blog that is new and still getting established, that she sees potential with, and gives them a chance to soar.  For Barbara, it’s about helping others succeed.  In a world where we’re plastered with messages about “me, me, me”, Barbara shows us that to make a real difference, it’s about “you, you, you”.  About helping others.  About being a positive influence.

Thank you, Barbara, for giving me wings!

We all have the opportunity to affect others in profound ways.  Every day.  What are you doing today that is having a positive affect on others?  What can you do to be a light for someone else?  The opportunity is always there…

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey Shipman September 16, 2008 at 5:57 am

Just yesterday I saw a friend/colleague and took a few minutes to thank her for a conversation we had last week. Something she said really struck me in a positive way and I wanted her to know. There is nothing more satisfying than helping others, truly. I do it as much as I can through my work, volunteer activities, with my family. You’re right – we are plastered with
“me, me, me” messages, and while I believe in “me” time to re-energize and re-group for effectiveness, I also believe in “you, you, you” to help do the same. Helping others is the reason I quit my job 2.5 years ago and never looked back. Every thought, word and action provides an impact, why not make it positive!


Mark Salinas September 16, 2008 at 7:22 am

I think it is human nature to be reactive and want to survive which can appear to be all about “me”…taking instead of giving. The challenge is to be proactive and look outside ones box and do for others. Thanks for sharing your story…absolutely wonderful! I am going to check out Barbara’s site!

Mark Salinass last blog post..Music and Health by Andrea May


Writer Dad September 16, 2008 at 8:30 am

Barbara is the sweetheart, darling, mother hen of the blogosphere.

Writer Dads last blog post..Are You Questioning Me?


Urban Panther September 16, 2008 at 10:13 am

Hear, hear! Thanks for featuring Barbara. She’s sort of a Blogging Matriarch! *grin*

Urban Panthers last blog post..All things for all people


Bobbi September 16, 2008 at 10:34 am

That’s real neat! Just the other day I had an old coworker calls me and asks if we could have coffee sometime. We never really chatted at work, just a hey here and there. She told me that she had seen a light in me and there was just something different about me. Well I was quite flattered, and surprised. I never knew that she saw this in me. Isn’t it funny that even the smallest things we do for others, a hello, a smile, etc, can change their world. She has been struggling for quite sometime and would love to talk to me because she believes that I out of all people can help her. Wow what an impact. ( I say all of this as encouragement not as a flattery to myself).

Bobbis last blog post..Dream Big!


chris September 16, 2008 at 11:08 am

Barbara is one special gal…


Bamboo Forest September 16, 2008 at 11:11 am

I agree with you about Barbara’s blog. She really does help her fellow bloggers in very real ways.

Bamboo Forests last blog post..A Little About Me


Vered - MomGrind September 16, 2008 at 11:20 am

Barbara IS amazing.

One of the most important things we’ve been doing is deciding on an annual giving budget every year. Regardless of what happens to our investment portfolio or earnings, we donate to our chosen charities. It makes me feel that instead of just taking, I am also giving back. My grandma had very little money, but she ALWAYS found something to give to those who had even less. I want to be more like her.

Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Hate Mail: Apparently, I’m a Bad Mom


Cath Lawson September 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

Hi Lance, Barbara’s NBOTW is amazing isn’t it? And the bigger it gets, the more opportunity it offers new bloggers.

We know how scary it can be when you first enter the blogosphere. Many folks blogged for months feeling as though nobody was listening – me included. And it’s far easier to motivate yourself when folk are commenting on your blog.

Cath Lawsons last blog post..Grilled Frog On Toast Anyone?


Barbara Swafford September 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Hi Lance,

I am humbled and honored by your words and the words of the commenters. You’re all so sweet, generous and kind.

What a pleasure it will be to watch as you spread your wings and fly into uncharted territory. I wish you all the best.

Thank you.

Barbara Swaffords last blog post..How To Get Your Blog Blacklisted


Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations September 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Aren’t we lucky to be a part of her amazing club? What she has done for us just keeps on going and going and going…I won’t ever be able to repay her. And the other thing is the frienships I have made with other fellow NBOTW’s like yourself. Because she chooses so well, I have made some amazing friends like you!

Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirationss last blog post..A Letter to the World


FitMom September 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm

WOW WOW WOW. profound thoughts today. Positives? Taught a love of physical fitness today.

FitMoms last blog post..Soy Milk or Cow’s Milk: Which is better for you?


MizFit September 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

what so resonated with me in this post is the INACTION being an action.

I think about that often. and yes. I dont know her well (of her well. new to her blog) but she amazing.

dont forget that.

MizFits last blog post..Tuesday Trends: MizFit now part of Oprah’s Digital Network.


Annette September 16, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I know so many self-less people and truly admire them! Getting rid of the “me” attitude is something I work on daily. It’s a good quality to pass on to our children as well. I am going to check out her blog!

Annettes last blog post..Updates and An Emotional Breakthrough


Lance September 16, 2008 at 6:50 pm

@Stacey – That’s just it, sometimes it’s something as simple as a conversation that can be uplifting! And I agree, there is nothing more satisfying than helping others – they usually really appreciate the help, but more than that, I think I always come out of it feeling like I was the one who really got something — just by helping someone else out! That’s a great last sentence too – let’s make all our thoughts, words, and actions positive! Thanks for sharing your story here Stacey.

@Mark – Yes, some of our actions can be reactive and “me” oriented. I think of it as a scarcity mentality versus an abundance mentality. When we see things in abundance, we’re more willing to share what we have and help out – stepping out of the box… Enjoy your visit to Barbara’s site – it’s great stuff!

@Writer Dad – I couldn’t have said it better!

@Urban Panther – Yes! She is the one we can all look to for much inspiration in our blogging experience.

@Bobbi – Sometimes it really is the small things that matter the most. That’s a great story of how if we just make some of these things habits (like smiling) we really can have a positive impact on those around us. You never know who you might have an effect on. Thanks for sharing your story Bobbi!

@Chris – Yes she is!!

@Bamboo Forest – She really provides much support for so many out there. I consider it a privilege to know Barbara!

@Vered – You’re first line says it all – Barbara IS amazing! And, thanks for sharing your story, also, about giving. Your Grandmother is a great example of giving.

@Cath – Barbara has done so much for new bloggers out there, and not only with her NBOTW series, but in all the information she provides on her site. Getting visitors and comments makes blogging so much more personal for me. And, Barbara really gave me push in that direction with the NBOTW series…

@Barbara – Your welcome! And, you deserve the credit – you’ve helped so many. So, once more – Thank you Barbara for all the help and encouragement you offer to everyone who visits you.

@Wendi – I think anyone who visits Barbara is drawn into this amazing club! And, yes – great friendships and connections are a very nice side benefit – it’s great to have you as a friend Wendi!

@FitMom – Sharing your love of physical fitness is an awesome thing to do. When it’s something you love, and you can share that with others – what a great way to give of yourself. Thanks for sharing that here today!

@MizFit – Thank you. I’m humbled by your words.

@Annette – I’m working on getting rid of my “me” attitude too. I think it flares up for everyone every once in a while. Enjoy your visit to Barbara’s blog – it’s full of great information!


Jennifer September 16, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Hi Lance.
Barbara is an amazing woman isn’t she! I can’t express how much I appreciate her- her attitude, wisdom and everything else. She has impacted so many. She is an inspiration to me. I love how she looks for opportunities to help promote others’ work.

Thanks for making me think about my influence on others….

Jennifers last blog post..Change Your Life One Thought at a Time – Part 5


Evelyn Lim September 16, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Barbara has touched our lives with the warmth of her friendship! And so have you to me 🙂

Evelyn Lims last blog post..Blessings For Healing


Linda Abbit September 17, 2008 at 12:23 am

Barbara deserves all the kudos given here & more! She is amazing and supportive.

Growing older (well, not that old) and experiencing life’s ups & downs has certainly made me less “me-oriented” and more giving each and every day. If we each simply smile at a stranger while we’re out and about every day, I consider that a way of sharing some of our inner joy and spreading it throughout the world. We certainly can use some!

I guess I haven’t lost my youthful idealism along the way, huh? 😉

Linda Abbits last blog post..Please Adopt a Caregiver!


Tara September 17, 2008 at 2:43 am

Everyone here is talking about this Barbara like she is their favourite aunt – and how fab is that. I will have to go and check her out . . .

Taras last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Black Boxes


Lance September 17, 2008 at 5:36 am

@Jennifer – Barbara really embodies the idea of helping others to succeed!

@Evelyn – Thank you!

@Linda – No, you haven’t lost it (you’re youthful idealism, not the proverbial “it”)! It can be really simple things that can make a big difference. Thanks for sharing it here Linda. And, yes I agree Barbara has been an amazing source of help to so many…

@Tara – Enjoy your visit over there!


Robin September 17, 2008 at 7:08 am

Barbara’s blog really does have a community feel, doesn’t it. People often reply to other people’s comments – chipping in with advice and information.

Robins last blog post..Insects Versus Mother Theresa


Tom Volkar / Delightful Work September 17, 2008 at 8:10 am

Lance you may be fairly new but it’s obvious that you are learning quickly.

I agree with everything said about Barbara’s spirit of giving but let’s not forget that her content is also topnotch and essential for bloggers who want to shorten the leaning curve.


janelle September 17, 2008 at 9:01 am

“Life is full of opportunities to be a positive influence on others. Or a negative influence on others. We have the choice. And what we do or don’t do can be the difference between someone else soaring to new heights or floundering where they are.”

This is a great point you make, Lance. There are so many people out there- especially in the Internet world- who are trying to get by and make a living doing what it is they love. In the end, however, most people are out for themselves, and while I can’t blame them- there are so few who are truly selfless and willing to help out another person for nothing in return. It’s great that you point out how we, as human beings, have a choice; we can decide on whether or not we will help someone else. I think that while there may be no immediate reward for kindness lavished upon others, it will still repay itself tenfold in other ways. Therefore, I encourage us to help one another out whenever we can. I also appreciate the fact that you admit you’re still new and learning 🙂

janelles last blog post..I Want My Money Back!


Marelisa September 17, 2008 at 9:06 am

I guess Barbara’s blog is kind of like the “Cheers” of the blogosphere. It’s nice to go where everybody knows your name 🙂

Marelisas last blog post..Success – On Your Own Terms


GroundedFitness September 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

thats exactly why I got into personal training. Of course I like helping people get healthy and fit, but the greatest reward is knowing that, even for just 45 minutes, I can make the session all about that person. Most of my clients work damanding jobs and have to take care of families- which is why they got heavy in the frst place- because they put everyone else first. For that 45 minutes, everything is about them, they dont have to worry about a thing.

Kelly Turner

GroundedFitnesss last blog post..GF Video: Go Ballistic


Lance September 17, 2008 at 12:10 pm

@Robin – Barbara has done an excellent job or creating a real community, and that is a powerful part of visiting her site!

@Tom – Great point, not only is Barbara very helpful, but the “stuff” she provides is quality material that we can all use.

@Janelle – Thanks for stopping by! That’s great insight. We might not always see an immediate benefit from helping someone else, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Many times the benefits might not be tangible benefits that we can see. But they’re there – sometimes in just the way we feel after helping someone. And that’s reason enough.

@Marelisa – Yes, I love that comparison. Let’s all head to “Barbara’s”, where everyone knows your name…

@Groundedfitness/Kelly – That’s a great way to offer your talents up as a way of helping others! Health and fitness are so important to a happy, long, and fulfilled life. You’re helping to put people on the right track in regards to fitness – something they can take with them for life! Thanks for sharing that with us!


Ian September 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm


I found your site via Writer Dad, and that’s also how I found Barbara’s site. You are correct. She is awesome. Don’t forget, however, that your site is also awesome. There’s a reason she chose to highlight you. You’ve given me a lot of insight and a lot to think about. Keep writing and be well.


Ians last blog post..32nm Chips Coming Soon!


Tammy Warren September 17, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I have never been to the site you mentioned. I will check it out. Thank you for sharing.

I wanted to tell you that you have a wonderful blog. Each person writes for a reason. Some for the money, some for personal growth, and some for just the socialization that the big blog world offers. I look forward to coming over to your blog each post. I hope you will continue to share with us your daily life, growth, and ideas.

Tammy Warrens last blog post..From a little old box


Pink Ink September 17, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Found you through Writer Dad. What a great website recommendation. I went over and I am just floored with the amazing posts and bloggers out there. Thanks!!

Pink Inks last blog post..A Conversation with My Blog


Lance September 18, 2008 at 6:38 am

@Ian – Thanks so much, your words mean a lot to me…

@Tammy – Enjoy your visit to Barbara’s site, it’s great! Thanks Tammy, for your kind words. I will continue to write, and share – and it’s because of comments (especially like this) that I do. Thank you again for all your support!

@Pink Ink – Thanks for stopping by!


Harmony September 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm

What you say is just so true. And I am amazed at the impact we have on others when we are just doing our trival jobs…(those who have them. 🙂
I have a blue vase that I have had with me for several years. To be honest, I think it was a dollar store special! It’s the shape and color I enjoy.
One day it occured to me that someone had made it…even if they ran the machine that mass make them in Taiwan, they made it. From that day on, I have said silent and speedy prayers of thanks for that person, and their family…blessing them with a full heart. I learned from it…everything counts. Butterfly Effects….
Thank you for reminding me.

Harmonys last blog post..Are You a “CONTROL FREAK”?


Lance September 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

@Harmony – Thanks for sharing that story Harmony. I don’t often think about where things came from, or who made them. Especially things that may have been mass produced. So, thank you for the reminder that we are impacted ourselves by people we don’t know – on a daily basis – through the things we have. Wow, that’s powerful…


Rachel September 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm

This reminds me of this quote

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Thanks for the link to blogging without a blog!


Lance September 19, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Rachel – That is a great quote — and Barbara is a great lady and resource for all things related to blogging.


Jenny September 26, 2008 at 10:21 am

Barbara sounds like a wonderful person Lance! I’m glad you stumbled upon her because if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have found Wendi and I wouldn’t have found you!

Jennys last blog post..Don’t Laugh At…


Lance September 27, 2008 at 2:33 pm

@Jenny – Yes, it’s pretty cool how this is kind of like a great big circle, and once – how we end up connected between different people. And I wouldn’t have known you…I’m glad I do!


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