It might sound conceited or arrogant for you to say that you make a difference in the lives of others every day, but it’s true. The real big question is what difference, positive or negative, are you making and to whom?

You don’t have to be a global leader like Barack Obama to impact the lives of others every day. I believe that you are always making a difference, every day, in ways that you might not be aware of. As soon as you leave your home you become a cause in your life and the lives of others, probably without ever realising it.

You make a difference by holding a door open for a mother with her children, by allowing a driver to merge into traffic, by saying “Thank you”, by telling someone that they look good, by asking how someone is today, by offering encouragement and support when someone needs it most or by just returning someone’s smile as they walk by in the street.

These are all ways that you can make a positive difference by doing something that might on the face of it seem trivial. Unfortunately, too many people miss the opportunity to make a difference and the feel good factor that can result.

So, how can you do this little thing that can have such a major impact? To begin with you have to take the time to be interested in other people and in their lives. Specifically, you can make a difference by simply smiling and saying “Hello” and acknowledging them. Use their name. Tell them that they are looking good. Make a positive comment on the job they do or saying “Thank you” when they helping you in some way.

The truth is that making a positive difference in the lives of others is really easy and it can also have huge benefits in business.

In 1985 SAS airlines won the dubious crown of "Worst Airline of the Year" ranking dead last in a customer poll in both customer service and dependability. Adding further to the insult SAS also ranked last in profits as a percentage of sales.

Jan Carlsson was hired as the new CEO and immediately he developed a strategy to focus on the customer, championing the Moment of Truth concept. The term was defined as those moments in which important brand impressions are formed and where there is significant opportunity for good or bad impressions or differences to be made.

In a dramatic turn of fortunes, one year later SAS ranked number one in all of the same customer satisfaction and profit categories listed above.

First impressions are always critical moments when we can delight or disappoint others by the difference that we make in their lives. You touch peoples’ lives every day so why not make a positive, even if small, difference to them and be remembered for the right reasons.

Author's Bio: 

Ian Henderson is a highly experienced trainer, consultant and speaker. In a 20 year career he has worked with thousands of people from a wide range of organisations in the UK, the USA, Europe and Africa. He is the director of training of Eagle Training Ltd, one of the UK's leading management, leadership and personal development training companies. For more information go to