post written by: Marc Chernoff

28 Dignified Ways to Impress Everyone Around You


Ways To Impress Everyone

Far more often than any of us like to admit, our actions are driven by an inner desire to impress other people.  This desire is often reflected in the brand name products we use, the bars and restaurants we frequent, the houses and cars we buy and the careers we choose.

But are name brand products, fancy bars, houses and cars really that impressive?  What about a person who holds an elite position in a career field they dislike?  Some of these things might capture our attention for a minute or two, but they won’t hold it for long.

Why?  Because tangible possessions are not as impressive as intangible qualities.

Consider the following questions:

  • He drives a Porsche, but can he truly afford the car payment?
  • He owns a big house, but is it a loving household?
  • He makes a lot of money, but does he enjoy what he does for a living?

You get the idea.  Whenever the answer to questions like these is ‘no,’ the subject who initially appeared to be impressive no longer does.

Now take a moment and imagine a person who loves what he does for a living, smiles frequently and bleeds passion in every breath he takes.  Would he impress you?  Would it matter that he wasn’t a millionaire?

Here are 28 dignified ways to impress everyone around you.  If you practice these tips on a regular basis, they won’t just impress others, they’ll help you become a better person too.

We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill

  1. Be authentic.  Be true to yourself. – Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.”  Live by this statement.  There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes.  The only shoes you can occupy are your own.  If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing.  And ask yourself this:  If you don’t like who you really are, why should I like you?
  2. Care about people. – If you don’t genuinely care about people, they won’t care about you.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth.
  3. Make others feel good. – People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
  4. Be honest and take ownership of your actions. – Nobody likes a liar.  In the long-run, the truth always reveals itself anyway.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  5. Smile often. – Everyone likes the sight of a genuine smile.  Think about how you feel when a complete stranger looks into your eyes and smiles.  Suddenly they don’t seem like a stranger anymore, do they?
  6. Respect elders.  Respect minors.  Respect everyone. – There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.
  7. Address people by their name. – People love the sight and sound of their own name.  So make sure you learn to remember names.  Use them courteously in both oral and written communication.
  8. Say “Please” and “Thank you.” – These two simple phrases make demands sound like requests, and they inject a friendly tone into serious conversations.  Using them can mean the difference between sounding rude and sounding genuinely grateful.
  9. Excel at what you do. – I am impressed by great guitarists, writers, bloggers, painters, motivational speakers, internet entrepreneurs, computer engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc.  There is only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do.  There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right.  Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies.  Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
  10. Help others when you’re able. – In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.  Everyone values the gift of unexpected assistance and those who supply it.
  11. Put a small personal touch on everything you do. – Think of it as branding your work.  If you’re funny, add a little humor into it.  If you’re an artist, decorate it with illustrations.  Whatever you do, customize it with a little personal touch of ‘you.’
  12. Over-deliver on all of your promises. – Some people habitually make promises they are just barely able to fulfill.  They promise perfection and deliver mediocrity.  If you want to boost your personal value in the eyes of others, do the exact opposite.  Slightly under-sell your capabilities so that you’re always able to over-deliver.  It will seem to others like you’re habitually going above and beyond the call of duty.
  13. Get organized. – How can you get anything accomplished if you aren’t organized?  You can’t.  Make a regular habit of organizing your living space and working space.  For some practical organizational guidance, I recommend David Allen’s Getting Things Done.
  14. Do your research and ask clarifying questions. – Don’t be that clueless dude in the room who just nods like he knows what’s going on.  Prepare yourself by doing research ahead of time.  And if something still doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions.  The people involved will respect your desire to understand the material.
  15. Share knowledge and information with others. – When you can, be a resource to those around you.  If you have access to essential information, don’t hoard it.  Share it openly.
  16. Be positive and focus on what’s right. – Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad.  It just depends on your perspective.  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  So stay positive, appreciate the pleasant outcomes, and learn from the rest.  Your positivity will rub off on everyone around you.
  17. Listen intently to what others have to say. – Eyes focused, ears tuned, mobile phone off.  In a world that can’t move fast enough, someone who can find time to listen to others is always appreciated.
  18. Be faithful to your significant other. – Tiger Woods was everyone’s hero until recently, wasn’t he?  Sustained fidelity in a long-term intimate relationship is not only impressive, it creates a healthy foundation for everything else you do.
  19. Learn to appreciate and love Mother Nature. – Those who truly appreciate and love the natural world surrounding us typically exhibit the same high regard for all humanity.  It’s a positive way to live, and it’s something people notice.
  20. Invest time, energy and money in yourself every day. – When you invest in yourself, you can never lose, and over time you will change the trajectory of your life.  You are simply the product of what you know.  The more time, energy and money you spend acquiring pertinent knowledge, the more control you have over your life and the more valuable you will be to everyone around you.  For fresh ideas on self improvement and lifestyle design, I recommend The 4-Hour Workweek.
  21. Perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis. – Pay for a stranger’s coffee in line at Starbucks.  Buy the office receptionist flowers just to say, “Thank you.”  Help an elderly lady with her groceries.  There’s nothing more rewarding than putting smiles on the faces around you.
  22. Compliment people who deserve it. – Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to shine.  Everybody likes to hear that their efforts are appreciated.
  23. Speak clearly and make eye contact. – Most people have a very low tolerance for dealing with people they can’t understand.  Mystery does not fuel strong relationships and impressiveness.  Also, there’s little doubt that eye contact is one of the most captivating forms of personal communication.  When executed properly, eye contact injects closeness into human interaction.
  24. Make yourself available and approachable. – If people cannot get a hold of you, or have trouble approaching you, they will forget about you.  Your general availability and accessibility to others is extremely important to them.  Always maintain a positive, tolerant attitude and keep an open line of communication to those around you.
  25. Be self-sufficient. – Freedom is the greatest gift.  Self-sufficiency is the greatest freedom.  And self-sufficiency is quite impressive too.   In the business world, it’s one of the primary dreams that inspire people to give-up their day jobs to pursue entrepreneurship.
  26. Exploit the resources you do have access to. – The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness.  How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy?  The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have.  Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.
  27. Be a part of something you believe in. – This could be anything.  Some people take an active role in their local city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in, and others find passion in their careers.  In each case the psychological outcome is the same.  They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in.  This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.  It’s hard not to be impressed by someone who’s passionate about what they’re doing.
  28. Stand up for your beliefs without flaunting them. – Yes, it is possible to stand up for your beliefs without foisting them down someone else’s throat.  Discuss your personal beliefs when someone asks about them, but don’t spawn offensive attacks of propaganda on unsuspecting victims.  Stand firm by your values and always keep an open mind to new information.

Of course, the coolest thing about this list is that everything you need to impress everyone around you is already contained within you.  So stop trying to impress people with the possessions you own and start inspiring them with who you are and how you live your life.

Photo by: Khalid

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58 Comments

  • I really really agree with the point about caring about others. Too many people these days feel like the world is against them. I have an acquaintance (can’t consider him a friend) that literally does NOT even allow you to say “hey” before he’s telling you his life problems. I mean who wants to be around a person like this? I’m pretty sure that after 5 years of knowing me that he doesn’t even know the name of any of my siblings. Caring about others can be extremely powerful.

  • Nice list of things to make an impression… :)

  • What a great way to start a Monday morning. I really enjoyed these 28 tips. If we all slowed down and paid more attention to ourselves and to those we have around us, things would be very different.

  • Hands down, what I can relate towards the most is being authentic.

    even if that means you’re pissed, it’s perfectly healthy to vent, as long as you know the difference between venting and bitching (:

    people who read self development often get it confused, thinking that to be truly happy you have to be truly happy all the time, every time.

    This is false.

    No one can always be happy, be real with yourself, and know that it’s ok to actually be mad at yourself, and others from time to time.

    it’s in our blood, it’s how we handle it that will shape us.

    Ok i’m done.

    thanks for sharing Marc

  • Hey man this is cool
    I really liked it
    will be writing in my diary
    Thank You !!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks for this. I feel like as humans, we all need to be reminded of things from time to time. This was a great mantra to start the day. The last sentence is a powerful one.. ” stop trying to impress people with the possessions you own and start inspiring them with who you are and how you live your life. ”

    Cheers

  • These are all excellent words to live by. Thanks!

  • What a great idea for a blog post. I agree with every point and I’m sure you could have come up with many more as well.

    I like the part about over delivering. I actually like to transform mistakes into opportunities using this principle.

    For example, last week one of my customers printed 1000s of copies of a program I put together as a business initiative for one of his projects. After the printing was done, he realized that we had a spelling mistake on the paper. While the paper was technically his and his responsibility to proof read, I felt responsible so without asking, I refunded his membership fee for 2 months, fixed the problem and showed him I was here for the long run for a mutually beneficial relationship. He appreciated the gesture and forgave me for the mistake. These kind of things go a long way and make everyone involved feel good. Over deliver whenever possible!

  • The cool thing about these tips are that, they are not “puffed up” things to do to impress others or get attention, but they are truly things that you can be proud of doing, and they will improve your own life.
    Great list Marc and Angel!
    Bernice
    http://livingthebalancedlife.com/2010/six-steps-to-a-saner-christmas-part-2/

  • What a wonderful list! If everyone would just take 1 or 2 of these and apply it on a regular basis, we would all be so much happier. Not only would we impress others, we would find it easier to be proud of ourselves.

  • Love the list Marc - thanks for the reminders - agree with all of them.

  • Marc - you address a contemporary problem and modern day affliction that plagues the vast majority. We spend money we don’t have, buying stuff that we can’t afford, to impress people we don’t know or care about.

    Conformity’s chief concern is with what “they” think. The essence of contrarianism lies in what “you” think. See http://www.contrarianism.net/?p=469

    There is only one reward for conformity: everyone will like you … that is, everyone except yourself.

    Another exceptionally well thought out and insightful article. Thanks a million!

  • I loved this. It made me realize what aspects of my life I need to work on more and have been falling short in, and reminds me to continue to do the actions that I have started doing more. Thank you so much!

  • Marc the Man! You did it again! This time, an awesome list which would be 101% if you ended it with saying, “And don’t just do these 28 just because it’s almost Christmas… live by it for the rest of your life.”

    Just a thought.

    Anyways, I like it that you wrote “dignified” ways … it puts emphasis on having a moral core to our actions. And that makes it desirable — impressive. It’s really disheartening when people put on a kind face or blurt profound words that’s all for a show or to gain the faith of others. Still, who is at a bigger loss? I definitely think it is the person who gives the false impression. Right?

    Keep the ball rolling, Marc the Man! Waiting, waiting, waiting for the next post!

  • I love the picture.

    This might sound weird but developing a good relationship with your family is another way to really impress others in a distinguished way.

    I’ve been blessed with a great family where we all get along fabulously. When our friends visit all of us together they often mention how much they enjoy the atmosphere and relationship we all have with each other.

    It truly is a one of a kind feeling to share a functional family with others.

  • As always friends, thank you for keeping the conversation alive.

    Without a doubt, the more you concentrate on being the best human being you can be, the more you will impress everyone around you.

    @Bryce: I totally agree. Maintaining strong family ties is both important and impressive. This could easily have been #29 on the list.

  • I love this! Thanks. :)

  • “Now take a moment and imagine a person who loves what he does for a living, smiles frequently and bleeds passion in every breath he takes.”

    This is truly a great article. I believe that this day in age everyone should read this. What a different world we would live in if everyone embraced the true beauty of what you’re speaking about.

    Keep it coming!

  • Wow, thank you so much for this post. It truly inspired me and made me want to ensure I’m actually following some of these ideas… I love your blog and the posts you make… truly amazing!!

  • Nice one. Always being passionate about what we are doing is the best way.

  • Practical tips for creating a wonderful world.

  • I like what you wrote. I like how you wrote it.
    Clear and concise. Very thought provoking. I will share it. Thank you. :)
    Patty

  • Great article Marc -

    I have come across many throughout my lifetime whose sum of their worth is calculated by the number of hours they work. Others by the number of dollars in their bank account. And I can’t forget those who calculate their value by the assets they have acquired.Then there are those who count their worth by the number of friends or followers they have. Or they will even stoop so low as to go to the point of name-dropping.

    Their conversation is dominated by ‘the art of impress’, and yet they fail to realize that all it achieves is alienation from those who would love to share their world. But unknowingly they fail to understand that true conversation, that builds true friendship, is not formed upon the foundations of what they have, what they’ve done, who they know, or even by where they’re going.

    Personally, I am far more interested in finding out as to who they are. I’m not even overly concerned as to what they think. I want them to be, and I most certainly don’t want to be bored by their repetitive verbiage that seeks always to ‘impress’.

    Impress me by who you are – someone who is interested in others, and from time to time pauses to turn the course of conversation, through the art of reflection, onto those whom they are conversing with. I want to spend time in the company of someone who, at the end of the conversation, leaves everyone they have conversed with, sensing a feeling of importance and appreciation.

    Marc you have impressed me…….keep up the great work!

  • Inspiring, encouraging and just what I needed to read to remind myself of what is real. Thanks for such true words.
    Posts like these are what connect and bind us through technological ways.

  • This article was brilliant, informative and completely real!

    Cannot wait to read more of your work.

  • This list is holy grail of living an ideal, i.e., healthy and meaningful life !! I’m practising them all from this moment on !!!
    Thank you Marc! :)

  • Excellent article, and both the title and the bullet listed items agree at 28 items, but the last paragraph says “Here are 50 dignified ways…”!! I was really wishing there WAS actually 50 ways after reading the 28 ways.

    But never fear, I know it’s tricky keeping everything edited on web pages, as I’m sort of a toy-blogger/web mommy myself. It’s still a GREAT article!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • great list…if we can do half we are making a better world to live in…here’s hoping more people start to practice these

  • #9, Excel at what you do.
    I have a problem with this one. I work very hard at what I do, I practice every day, I spend my spare time thinking about how I could be better, work better, achieve the next level, ….. But I know, I will never be a Grand Prix rider, I know that I will never go further than fourth level in Dressage. So, why should people beat themselves up because they don’t “Excel at what they do”? Sometimes, doing your best, and not giving up, and keeping on trying, is good enough !!!

  • Great article with eternal truths. It brightens my day to come across this. Thanks for the smile

  • Thank you for such an inspirational piece. I couldn’t agree more with every single point. Especially being involved in a cause you are passionate about (27). It will instill a happiness in even the most miserable of people. Also, having a love for mother nature is - I think - probably one of the most rewarding qualities (19). A sunny day brightens your mood instantly and you will learn to see the beauty in a thunderstorm.
    I am so glad I found your blog. Your writing is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • What an inspiring list this is - and every word of it not only true, but incredibly well observed.

    I’d also add ‘Be aware of your impact’, on the premise that everyone DOES have an impact (on other people, the planet, on their chosen cause etc etc), whether they are aware of it or not, and whilst we’re not responsible for someone else’s reactions, it’s prudent to be aware of the influence that we have, one way or another.

  • i have a paper round, and every week i would routinely put my headphones on to block out society. one day, my headphones broke, so i had to go out and just listen to the world. listening to the birds chirp and being able to hold small conversations with people was so worth it. i haven’t worn my headphones since.

  • I don’t like how much I love reading your blog. Especially when it is frequently on my stumbleupon. I do not aspire for your level of acknowledgement but definitely the ability to clearly translate such a refined set of thoughts to the web so immaculately. Grrrr. Jealousy….admiration….I want the skill you have.

  • it’s nice of you to collect and post these helpful and very inspiring thoughts. these are all gentle reminders to live by, and should refer to as often as we can.ü

  • Joie de vie, you’ve got it! I enjoyed reading you! Thanks so much!,

  • I think the last point at the end, the part about everything necessary already being present within each person, is the most important. It’s great to excel at something you enjoy, or be passionate about something that really moves you. But some people seem to make the mistake of thinking they need to excel at EVERYTHING and be involved in EVERY cause. This smacks to me of insecure self-accessorizing, compensating for what a person thinks he or she lacks. Anyone who claims to be an amazing musician, writer, scholar, activist, cook, philosopher, handyman, and healer is probably mediocre at all these things in reality. So I wish people would stop feeling the pressure to be the best at everything, and instead focus on the specific things we really enjoy - and appreciating the successes of others in different fields of interest. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for myself recently, and I’ll tell you, it takes a lot of pressure off not feeling the need to become a rock star.

  • I stumbled upon your blog months ago. I came back to it now (through Google) because I was feeling down. Thank you. I’m feeling enlightened and grateful. Your posts are awesome! :)

  • I really like the blog. It brings light to the people to think better and have a pleseant life

    Life is all about giving something and taking back

    It’s nice of you to collect and post these helpful and very inspiring thoughts.

    Thanks guys to helping me to open my eyes this has brought some positive energy in me
    I would like to add this note tooooooo..
    Life is all about confidence

  • Every point here is insightful. More people need to follow this advice. Thank you.

  • Powerful advice. Thank you very much!

  • I really connected with this article. Such useful info. Lots of blessings my friend!

  • Great read! Empathy for others and being sincere would be good additions to this list.

  • Humility. Kindness. Respect. Dignity. Love. Considering others greater than ourselves. These are super descriptors of the Golden Rule. Mix this with hard work with our own hands, and we have achieved a great life balance. Thanks for putting it all together!

  • Hey Marc, Hey Angel!!
    This website has the BEST posts ever. Whenever I feel upset, or demotivated, your website helps me get through everything. Thanks for such a simple breather. Keep going!!!!!!
    Luv Vanshree

  • Good post. I think being nice is the number one key.

  • Nicely articulated. Wouldn’t it be a lovely world if everyone lived by this list?
    Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This list is a great place to start.
    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  • I agree entirely. Thanks! I think a lot of people need to follow this advice.

  • Great tips! Be self-sufficient is my favorite. It is incredibly important.

  • Thanks Marc for such brilliance and especially #5. I love to walk around in the mall and just look people straight in their eyes and smile and observe their reactions. Some would appear very surprised and return a small smile, some too busy to smile and some just loving it and returning genuine delighted smiles :)

    Thank you very much
    Joyce

  • The author of this article sounds like a very nice person, who has put a lot of thought into people and themselves.

    bookmarked this, to read again :)

  • I love these. ♥

  • I am impressed with your teachings here, keep it up, bravo.

  • Absolutely inspiring.

  • Ya’ll are absolutely amazing disciples & have inspired me so much through my anxiety disorder. It has helped me so much & a reminder of lessons learned! I read your posts everyday & share….especially read the 50 quotes that will free your mind everyday… wow! You both have definitely made a difference.

    Love, Marguerite :)

  • Really nice. I never thought of this before.

    Thanks for the list.

  • Looks like I’m late to the party! Loved this post. Number 6 reminded me of my dear (late) mother. One of the lessons she taught me, mostly by example, was to respect others–*all* others: Show the same kindness and respect to everyone, from the chairman of the board to the lowest-paid worker in the building. Few people actually do that.

  • Beautiful, sometimes we forget that we are all connected and doing something kind for others is healing.

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