Be The Change You Want To See In The World

How many of you wake up in the morning and announce, “I’m going to change the world today!”?  I don’t see too many hands up in the air!  I’m certain most people would feel a bit awkward saying this out loud, but I feel that many of us really DO want to change the world and truly make a difference. With the state of our world today, it’s easy to feel discouraged and disheartened at our inability to enact change.  The truth:  you DO make a difference. The question:  What kind of a difference do you make?

Is It Positive or is it Negative?

Every day we are afforded the opportunity to make a difference.

When you’re driving down the street and someone pulls in front of you, do you curse and gesture at them or do you send them a kind thought?

When a family member interrupts your work, do you let them know (silently or not so silently) that they’re bothering you or do you put down what you’re doing and give them your undivided attention?

When you’ve waited in line a long time to check out at the grocery store, are you a bit agitated when it’s finally your turn or do you say something nice to the busy checker?

How you decide to respond to and interact with others determines whether the difference you are making is positive or negative — but you are making a difference.

People around you are affected by your thoughts, your words, and your actions. You can be the sunshine that brightens someone’s day or the dark cloud raining down negativity. Your smile, a kind word, or even a warm gesture can make all the difference to your family, friends, coworkers, or even a stranger.

Right now you are probably thinking that doing “this stuff” is no big deal.  How can smiling at someone or saying something nice make much of a difference? Ah, but it does.  As Mother Teresa once said, “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” I’m certain that many of us have heard or read stories about how a few words or a simple act changed someones life. Be aware of all that you say and do, for you can never know the magnitude of your words or your deeds and how they might impact an individual.

What KIND of Difference?

Recently, I started asking myself, “What KIND of difference am I making here?” This simple question has made me far more aware and I find that I speak or act in a way that’s likely to make a positive difference. It’s the tiny nudge that makes me smile, say something pleasant, or do some small thing for someone.

Please don’t get the idea that I was rude in restaurants or would yell at the clerk in the store or make snide remarks at strangers. Nor is it that I am now, or ever will be, perfect. It’s just that asking myself, “What KIND of difference am I making here?”, gently encourages me to extend myself a little more in order to make a positive difference in someones life.

Light Your Fire

As you can see, each of us CAN, and DOES, make a difference in the world every day. We can choose to make a positive difference as many (or as few) times a day as we like. It’s entirely up to you.

Don’t burden yourself thinking you need to make a positive difference with every person every minute of every day. That’s way too much work!  Take it easy on yourself and just try CHOOSING to make a positive difference. No suffering or sacrifice is required, just the desire of the heart.

Mother Teresa is a perfect example of this.  She worked tirelessly in India, making an incredible difference in the lives of the poor, the ill, the neglected, the orphaned and the ignored.  She could have left India and gone on to do great things elsewhere, but she loved what she was doing and her passion to make even the smallest change was her greatest reward.  She CHOSE to make a difference and so can you.

Imagine the impact you can have on those around you and on yourself when you do what lights your fire.  In other words, whatever energizes and enlivens you – your passion – that’s what you need to focus your energy on.

How Do I Enact The Change I Want To See in The World?

How can you make a positive difference in the world today?  Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Make your intention to enact positive changes with ease and fun. If “ease and fun” don’t speak to you, choose other qualities that light your fire.

2.  Say or do “little” things that could in some way make a positive difference to someone. Think about how you feel when you do this. What happens?  How does it affect the other person?  How do they react to you?

Sometimes we are able to see the effect, sometimes not. Sometimes the effect is immediate, sometimes it doesn’t happen until later. Sometimes there is no effect. You are unable to control any of this, so don’t even try. When your intention is to make a positive difference and you take action to support that intention, allow yourself to feel the pleasure of what you have done, no matter what the results may be.

3.  At the end of the day, take some time to reflect on what you have done to make a positive difference. No matter how large or small it may seem, give yourself credit for what you have done. If you bask in the joy of what you have done and how good it makes you feel, you’ll be filled with enough energy to continue making a positive difference.

It is within each of us to make a positive difference every day.  When we make the conscious choice to try and make even the smallest changes, we are sending out positive vibes into the universe.  Just like the raindrop that falls into the sea, who knows how that one small act could ripple out and change the world.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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