Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

How Will You Choose to Influence Others?

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Think about the people that have had the greatest impact on your life. For good or bad.

Parents. Teachers. Historical figures. Friends. Significant others.

They fall into 1 of 2 categories. Those that have hurt you the most. And those that have loved you the most.

Photo by Paul Bica (Creative Commons)

Of course there is a third group of people. One of indifference. There are those who have had no lasting impact on your life. They haven’t changed you. They haven’t made a difference.

They might be fun to be with. They might be good to know. But your life is no different for knowing them.

Whether or not someone has influenced you depends on these two issues of hurt and love.

There are two important questions to ask. Do you want to make a difference?

I hope you say yes. But don’t stop there. Ask the second question.

What kind of difference? Will you hurt or will you love?

Leave a comment.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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27 Replies

  1. Mike Zserdin

    Jeremy you’ve asked some really challenging questions…a few observations: I’m amazed at how many really don’t even ask the question, “do you want to make a difference?” I’m not sure why but, passive is common.

    To answer your question, I do. I’m presently working to make sure I’m loving my wife and kids in ways that are meaningful to them.

    I find this challenging.

    Have a great day.


  2. I agree. Most of our decisions are made without thought to whether or not they would make a difference.
    If we just started with that one question, our lives might be incredibly different.

  3. Yes, I want to make a difference.  We each have a unique purpose on this earth.  God desires to use each of us for His glory.  The longer I live, the more I realize how important leaving a legacy of faith is to those we come in contact.  My main goal right now is to leave this legacy for my son.  My choices today will impact who he is later.

  4. Awesome. Thanks for joining me, Eileen.

    I had a friend ask me what he needed to know in being a dad. I told him to just love his son. If we do that, it will leave a positive impact.

  5. I have longed (and worked) to make a difference since I was a little boy.  When I was younger, I always thought that it would be this giant, world-changing thing that I would do.  As I’ve gotten older, God has changed my understanding.  I can make a difference by serving and loving people where they are at, in the here and now.  It took me a long time to understand that small act can be life changing.

    I’ve went through seasons of passivity and apathy, or just general busyness, but I know that the reason God put us here is not to be lukewarm, timid, or indifferent… 

    We can make a difference each day, with His help.  

  6. This change in perspective sounds powerful and life changing, Cole.

  7. Jeremy –  Wow!  Great questions, man.

    Most of us will spend more time deciding what we’re having for lunch today than deciding what a difference we want to make during our lifetime.  Sad…but so true.

    Thankfully, you and me and the rest of your blog’s community is not part of the “most of us” group.  We are different.  Thank God for that!

    God gave each of us a set of skills, gifts, and talents.  It’s up to us to find our calling/purpose and truly make a difference in the world.   We don’t have to be super-stars in order to create a difference. 

    Sometimes there’s great power in the little things in life:  smiling, taking time to talk with someone, encouraging one another, holding someone’s hand during a tough time, being intentionally focused on the needs others. 

    Thank you for your encouraging post.  Indeed:  I plan to make a difference! 

  8. Jeremy, what a great post, and super questions.  We are offered opportunities everyday to make a difference, whether that be smiling at someone on the bus, or sending a card, picking up the phone, or putting trash in the bin!  That is before we mention or even think about making a big difference in terms of going somewhere or doing something different, something radical. 

    But every difference we make, we chose to make is a small step towards the big difference.  I have always wanted to be someone who makes a difference, and I try to do it in all things in my life.  I don’t always succeed but I give it a shot.

    I have been thinking a lot recently about how we can make a difference with our speech, our words, our thoughts.  Sometimes things happen to us that are painful, sometimes other people are responsible for these, but what we are responisbile for is how we react.  And, I wonder do we always need to react with endless words and discussions that can hurt other people.  Can we limit damage with our words when situations upset us, and we need to talk things through.

    Have a great day.

  9. Needed that reminder today to think about what kind of difference I’m making:) Highest on my list would be live a life of love to my husband and children…and then to everyone around me.  That my actions and words would somehow show Jesus in me :-)

  10. tamiburkett

    Every day my plan is to help people find and follow Christ. I hope that the successes of doing just that outweighs the times that I fail. Yes, I do fail everyday but my Savior gives me the promise of tomorrow and the opportunity to do it all again.

  11. Well this is stinkin challenging! Now I have to think…

  12. Unfortunately I’m afraid I hurt more than I love. Or at least it feels like that some days. I have trouble making time for people when my life gets hectic, and it hurts those I love the most. Bob Goff’s book made such a lasting effect on me. Now I want to be whimsically loving to every person I meet. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. Not in the least :) But it’s the difference between solely reacting to everything and living intentionally. 

    I want to LOVE.

  13. What a beautiful thing to find him.

  14. With my wife and kids I have to constantly remind myself of this.

  15. i agree with you. We need to show love. Obviously the world of Bob Goff is influencing you. I like the sound of that.

  16. It’s amazing the kind of difference we can make through love. Thanks for your involvement here, Michael.

  17. Michael, what a great post!
    Although I am blessed with many people in my life that teach me, help me feel better when things are bad, support me and take care of me, make me laugh and sensitize me, respect me and believe in me, there has been a person that stands far above all others. My heart is full of love, respect, admiration, and gratitude for this lady  – my twin boys’ godmother who left this world at the age of 97 – and who made the biggest difference in my life.  The mother, sister, and friend I did not have when I came to this country 45 years ago, she listened to me, conforted me, introduced me to all the arts and books, tremendously enriching thus my life. She showed me that life is full of miracles, she showed me the importance and meaning of love, the importance of faith in something bigger than me, the importance of patience, gratitude and generosity. She encouraged me to go to school in a time when it was almost impossible. Her praise, respect, approval, appreciation, encouragement, advise are of the best gifts I ever received. God’s grace came to me through her, and I became a better person,  mother, wife and friend to all those who cross or travel along my path jsut by following her example. Every day I think of her and I am grateful she came into our lives. I make a point to be as much as I can like her, treating others with love and kindnes, and respect,  to be a mentor a teacher and a friend to them,  kind and supportive with my words and actions.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about this Angel!

  18. Bob’s book came at exactly the right time for me in my own internal and outward journey.  I am about to read it again.  So much resonated with me, and my non-negotiables in my life.  I was really excited as I read about it, and I have been telling everyone who will listen to me, that they have to read it.  

    I’ll be back in touch to talk more about the book with you soon!  Thank you again for sending it to me.  

  19. Just a few thoughts Michael.

  20. I hear you on reading it a 2nd time. I am going through it with my kids now. They live it.

  21. It doesn’t come naturally to me either, but I see where I hurt others more and more. Even my wife and kids get hurt by me. So sad. But seeing it helps me to change it. So I have to look at what I don’t want to see.

  22. That’s a great story, Katia. Where are you from?

  23. I was born and grew up in Greece.  I left Athens Law School after one year to marry my husband Spyro and come here. I am living in Chicago for over 45 years.  I feel blessed that I have the best of the two worlds.  My roots embeded in the fertile Greek soil nourish me continuously. My branches spreading out and reaching high in the sky of this wonderful land which gave me the opportunity to grow and mature, to bring up 4 great children and 9 grandchildren, to make wonderful friends who nurture my soul. 
    Jeremy, I really enjoy and learn from your posts…the great stories you share touch my soul.  Thank you! looking forward to reading more.  When I have my onw site, will you post a story?

  24. Just send me the story and I will take a look at it. Thanks.

  25. Stacy S.

    Hello, Your stories are very nice and wonderful, thank you for sharing. In speaking about myself, I am so ready to love, the difference I would make is not making the same mistakes I have in the past because I love myself more now than I did years ago. There is much more to my story, though I will stick to the facts and answer your questions.

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