Literatively speaking, the difference between 'Express' and 'Impress' is the first 2 letters. But its impact in our life is much beyond our imagination. Its a sad thing to note that most of us are tuned to focus on Impressing rather than Expressing. We have come to believe sub-consciously that outward appearances counts much more coz,the appearance is the first thing we see when we look at someone. So we move around in Best dresses, and fake big smiles(not always), hoping to make a good Impression, leaving our inner selves to isolation. So how does this Express and Impress come to matter..
Iam not wise enough to give opinions on what is what, but this is my understanding of Express and Impress. When we say we are expressing, whatever we are doing, we are doing by being our self. In contrast, When we want to Impress someone, our focus is more on imitating something/someone in order to influence others. In the process, we lose of what we are. Bruce Lee had said once about people imitating the big stars, that when we imitate someone, what we are doing is to imitate the outward appearance forgetting that there is a basis to that person's greatness and we cant achieve that greatness by imitating.
One of the things which the great scholars have said is that the interesting relation between Expressing and Imitating is that as one starts expressing himself , he/she will advertently end up impressing others. As Jim Rohn says,
“It's easy to let life deteriorate into making a living instead of making a life. It's not the hours you put in, but what you out into the hours that count. Learn to express rather than impress. Expressing evokes a ''me too'' attitude while impressing evokes a ''so what'' attitude.”
To be frank, Iam myself in the process of discovering how to express myself truly. Yet i hope that as one starts Expressing one self, the adage "The First impression is the Best Impression" will in turn lead to another on these lines.- "Your True Expression will be the Best Impression".