Final Impressions

I am an impression. Actually, everyone is an impression really. We make impressions on others and we are products of the impressions made on us by others.

Impression is a word that is both ambiguous and defining. I am the way that I am because of the impressions that were made upon me. Today, I work to impress my personality and my beliefs upon others, as my way of trying to make an impact on the world. The funny thing about impression is that the word itself does not suggest the force of the actions, impressions can be both meaningful and yet still fleeting and that is one of the coolest aspects of my versatile word.

Choosing my word didn’t just define me, my choice allowed me to define myself through how I interpreted every single meaning of the word impression. Through defining myself and this word a multitude of different ways I learned about how my word can be applied to so many different concepts and ideas. Impressions create a mark that lasts forever, and many of us learn that the hard way including myself. Once upon a time I defined the word impression as, “a marking on the mind” and this idea still holds true. Impressions are what create people and challenge ideas, impressions span the commonalities of societies and cultures to test what people think they know and how they respond to new ideas and people. I looked at the word impression from so many different perspectives however this idea held true in books, religion, psychology, music and art. Impression is what the world revolves around.

My word is strong in the fact that everything, every single thing in this whole entire world is created, altered, or influenced by an impression. However, the most difficult and weakest part of my word is actually the same concept. The word impression is incredibly difficult to define and explain. Getting specific with such a vague word is nearly impossible and trying to track the different meanings, uses, and connotations of the word impression is really a daunting task. This made writing about impression at times rather challenging. How can you go from talking about the impressions in Buddhism to talking about advertisements in modern day media?

The answer lies within the strength of the word, the weakness is in the connections that I as an author had to make. Therefore, the real question about the word impression is how far does the effect of an influence really go? Just like the so called butterfly effect or the six degrees of separation law that is said to influence the entire planet, how far does an impression travel?

Impressionism

The Impressionism Period was a movement in art culture that occurred in the 1870’s and 1880’s. The movement began in Paris and soon spread through many of the major artists of the time.

Characteristics of Impressionist Paintings:

– small, thin, visible brush strokes

– open composition

– emphasis on light and the accurate portrayal of light

– often show the passage of time

– common, ordinary subjects

– movement as a crucial element

– unusual visual angles

The Impressionist Movement was named after a painting done by Monet called, Impression, soleil levant, which is pictured below.

How to Make a Good First Impression

Making a good first impression is an important part of any interview or meeting. First impressions are the single most important thing that determines the outcome of either of these events. One of the most shared facts by professionals who teach leaders how to interview and speak well is that in meeting a new person we, as individuals, make judgements about them within the first ten seconds. Ten seconds! That’s it. For us in FFA, making a good first impression is something we are trained to do. We know to come to an interview well groomed, professionally dress, and, for us girls, with our hair tied back so it’s easier to remember our face. These simple tricks are all an important part of making those very first ten seconds count, then through an interview we are able to solidify a great first impression.

Here are some tips on making a good first impression:

1. Stop Talking

In an interview it is extremely important that you let the conversation be directed by the interviewer- not the interviewee. Do not overwhelm the person with personal stories and small talk. Be polite, give short, concise, and well though out answers. Be personable but not overbearing. Make the other person comfortable with enough talking to generate a smooth conversation, but not so much that the person becomes bored and disconnected.

2. Be Yourself

One of the worst things to do in an interview is to come off as an obnoxious shining star. Interviewers hate that. You want to show off your accomplishments while still mentioning minor flaws and quirks about your personality. Be real, not the embodiment of all those nice things you put on your resume to look good- they already read that, now they’re looking for the person behind the paper.

3. Do not ever (ever, ever, ever, ever, ever) forget their name

Say it, repeat it, say it again, bring it up in conversation, compliment them on it, ask where it is from but DO NOT EVER FORGET IT. One of the worst things to do is forget someone’s name. Make sure you say it out loud and then repeat it in your head while still focusing. Also, make sure to get a business card, then you’ll never forget and you’ll have an easy way to send a follow up letter or thank you note.

4. Don’t be self absorbed

Make sure that if some one is interviewing you, you don’t take all the credit for things that they asked you about, unless it is absolutely, positively, solely all done by you. Give people who helped you out the credit they deserve and don’t come off as overly confident. Be humble about things you’ve had help with, or people who have helped you become who you are. Make your flaws real, honest things- not selfish things like, “I work too hard.” That’s crap and nobody wants to hear it because while it can be true, it isn’t honest because really, it’s not about you.

5. Be completely interested in what’s going on

Make eye contact! Smile, and make sure you never zone out or look bored. This interview or meeting is about you and therefore you should give the interviewer your full attention and respect, because they took time out just to talk about you and that’s a really big deal.

Tips On Doing Impressions

Like I explained in my very first post, the word impression can also be a verb. Doing an impression is acting just like somebody else. There are even instructions on how to do this.

1. Find a person you want to do an impression of
2. Get your voice in tune
3. Go more in depth into the person’s personality
4. Analyze the person’s cadences

Doing an impression of someone can be done to poke fun at someone or to make others laugh. Impressions are done by mimicing the voice and mannerisms of the chosen person. Impressions have been done throughout history, and doing an impression is one of the most simple forms of acting.

Here’s an awesome video of some really well done impressions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbIqL-lN1B4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

A Quick Ad

Another definition of the word impression that I hadn’t defined yet is the use of the word in media. In the context of media, the word “impression” is actually defined as the number of times an advertisement is displayed online, whether it is clicked on or not. Counting these determines how much an advertising company gets paid. The more impressions, the more money a company makes. This cost for the company being advertised for is called CPM, which is the cost per thousand impressions.

What does this mean?

This mechanical idea suggests that just by seeing something people are influenced by it. Advertising plays on this idea every single day of our lives. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements that we don’t even think about but make an impression on us.

Next time you go to buy a product try to think do I want this product or do they want me to want this product.

With impressions you never know.

Learning Through Buddhism

Buddhism has grown to be a major religion in the world, and while many think Buddhism is the teachings of the cheerful statue of Buddha that they so often see, the religion is much more than that.

The story of Buddhism, or enlightenment through Buddhism is told through five parts. Buddhism began with a prophet by the name of Siddhartha. When Siddhartha was born men predicted that he would be the Buddha, so his wealthy family tried to make life for him as comfortable as possible so that he would not leave their kingdom. Soon enough however, Siddhartha became sick of this lifestyle and wanted to roam the world. As he roamed Siddhartha saw so much pain and suffering that he wanted to end all of the problems that he observed. (This is where impressionism comes in)

Siddhartha came across a monk who had given up everything until all the pain and suffering in the world was resolved. In seeing the dedication this monk had, Siddhartha decided to be just like the monk in an effort to stop the pain and suffering. This monk left an impression on Siddhartha that lasted for six years as Siddhartha practiced the lifestyle of the monk. However, soon Siddhartha noticed that nothing was changing and this lead him to give up the monk’s lifestyle in order to make a difference in the world. This stage of Buddhism is called Renunciation, for renouncing the lifestyles of elders that left an impression on a younger generation. This was extremely important to Buddhism because by giving up this lifestyle Siddhartha was able to reach a stage of Enlightenment which is what Buddhism is centered around.

There are many other ideas about Buddhism, however the main three teachings of Buddhism are ones that relate to my topic:

1. Nothing is lost in the Universe

As this relates to impressions, every impression from an older generation has the ability to influence a new generation of people.

2. Everything Changes

People are always changing and the universe is also always changing, as people influence one another people’s perspectives, thoughts and personalities change.

3. Law of Cause and Effect

This law is talking about karma, the way we influence someone else either positively or negatively has the ability to influence the way they interact with someone else and the way the universe interacts with us.

 

Here is statue of Buddha (for good karma 🙂 )

Musical Impressions

The Impressionist Movement was a time period in history during which art and music experienced a revolution. Instead of the normal harsh lines and incredibly detailed portraits of both people and landscapes artists began to express how they felt about things instead of what they saw. I detailed landscape therefore became a myriad of colors and blurred lines, expressing not what the artist saw but how he or she felt about the beauty of what they were seeing. Paralleling this idea, music became less detailed and was used to create mood or feeling instead of dictating a message to the listeners. Songs became shorter and more vibrant, scales became more exotic, and harmonies were created. This added much more depth and feeling to classical music then ever heard before. Major composers of this era include Debussy and Mozart. Their harmonies, instead of being used in a traditional way were used to tell a story, to push their listener to feel.

 

Here is an example of a piece by Debussy, notice the impressionist painting paired with the piece.

 

This is an example of a piece by Mozart. Mozart was especially well known for his ability to tell a story through music.

 

 

Impression and Others

There are actually very few words that also mean impression, as impression is so ambiguous. There’s influence, but that only covers some of the definition of impression. Consequence, but consequence is really only referring to the effect of an impression and not to the word impression itself. Feeling, which is another half definition of the word impression. Impact, reaction, response and result are also explanations of the effect that impression has. Lastly, there’s sway which is only one part of how the word impression can influence someone or something.

There’s also one more synonym: effect.

This is my personal favorite because this word has just enough ambiguity to match that of impression. Effect can mean the effect of something or the effect on something. There can be emotional effects and physical effects. Effect is really just like impression and I think is the closest synonym to the word. Effect, like impression, can be a cause and a reaction which make both words difficult to define as one simple thing and this is why they are so well matched.

First Impressions About the Word Impression

The word impression is a lot more complex than it originally seems. There are a bunch of different forms of the word. Impression, impressionable, impressive, impress, impressed, impressionism, impressionist- the list is large. Then when you say the word impression, you can mean it both figuratively and literally. You can impress upon someone an idea or you can be impressed, or even impressed upon. Impression and other forms of the word can be a noun, adjective, adverb or verb. We are impressed upon every single day of our lives. We can have first impressions, last impressions, bad impressions, good impressions, lasting impressions and have long boring impressions about how to be impressionable.

The word impression is an impression, it has many meanings and applications.

Originally, the word impression was French and first came into being in the late 14th century. At first, it related to stamping or marking which was common at the time for writing things down. Later, it began to be used as a figurative description of emotions and making an impact. However, all the while it retained its’ original reporter background taking on a combined definition of a “print, stamp, or marking on the mind.” As time went on the definition has switched back and forth through the centuries from being destinctly part of printing to a part of someone’s mind.

Today it carries all of these different definitions and is used in every way mentioned above.