Common wisdom tells us that we never get a second chance to make a first impression. First impressions are important, but they aren’t everything.
Sunday evening flying trapeze practice is one of my favorite times of the week. The staff practices right after my advanced level class, and I often used to linger after practice to watch them. Lately I’ve been too busy, rushing back home to eat dinner and finish a blog post or other work.
Last night, I allowed myself to linger.
I took my time. I sat in the space, stretching, watching, listening. Taking it all in. I sat there, absorbing it all, as if for the last time.
First Impressions Aren’t Everything
The common wisdom is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is not true.
First impressions are certainly important. But we give second chances all the time. We embrace an authentic apology. Mulligans. Do-overs. We love a good comeback story.
We don’t think enough about the last time. Perhaps because we don’t ever think it will be the last time. The last time is something we tend to see only in the rear view mirror. We don’t focus on it until it’s too late.
What Would Be Different if This Were the Last Time?
Sit in your favorite space. Notice the sights, sounds, and sensations. What do you love about them. What do you hear? See? Feel?
How would you take in the space differently if you knew it was your last time there?
Every moment is precious. And any moment may be the last moment.
Over the last year, I have found myself walking down some of my favorite streets, or sitting in my favorite spaces, and wondering if this would be the last time, at least for a while. It felt different.
What would you do differently if you knew it was the last time?
The last time you walked your favorite street.
The last time you sat in your favorite place.
The last gathering with your friends.
The last conversation with a person you love.
The last hug.
The last kiss.
The last goodbye.
Would you be thinking of your InstaStory? Your Facebook post? Would you be taking out your camera to document it? Would you be thinking about all the things you have to do today, and how late it’s getting, and I don’t have time for this right now?
Or would you be fully present, one hundred percent focused on that moment: the person or people in front of you, the sights, sounds, smells, sensations of this place, this moment.
Make an Impression That Lasts
What if you treated every moment like it was the last time?
How would your life change?
What would be different?
What would be possible?
When you treat every moment like it’s the last moment — for you or for others — you’ll make a great first impression without appearing overeager. You’ll find presence without needing to tame distractions. You’ll walk away without feeling regret or needing to apologize.
Try it today. Try it this week. Notice how it feels.
You never get a second chance to make a last impression.