It’s been a tough year, right?
I don’t know if we could design a more difficult world to feel at peace in, if we tried. From referendums against peace accords, to Brexit & elections shockers – From pipelines bursting to beautiful Voices silenced by death: our world is sometimes completely unloveable, ammirite?
My first advice is to step away from Facebook & late-night TV immediately, if you’re feeling the stress about the state of our world right now. They are a minefield, and they will only hurt you.
The whole world is a minefield.
And it’s hard to stay plugged-in to all that.
If you are a vocal person on social media, you can be attacked by those who disagree with you at any turn – people you don’t even know! If you are less vocal, you are likely still being inundated with images & messages that you do not want to see: things that are not easy to un-see.
You feel like our world is too big, too flawed, too different to ever be okay.
The world is very big, and it is full of flaws. People are too! When we are forced to confront those things, it can be really painful. I sometimes feel like it’s impossible to change things for the better, and the heaviness of that all weighs me down and makes life feel just not okay.
We hide our eyes, and tell the world, “Shh!”; we hope that someone can fix it all for us, because we just can’t face another day of it all being so hard & hurtful & confusing. We. Give. Up.
But no! I don’t want to give up, and I don’t want you to either.
Don’t look away, or stand with your head in your hands.
Don’t hide out, or surround yourself with only the easy stories that agree with your assumptions.
And don’t give up, or think that you have no power and that our world is too sick to heal.
Because you do have power, and it is immeasurable.Click To Tweet
The same things that make us so difficult to live with (humans, that is) also give us the ability to make it work. We can learn and organize and make change!
It’s that old story of the many drops of water, carving away mountainsides. You can be a drop, & another drop, & another. You can start the river that tears away one of those flaws – one of those painful things from the world you long to love.
So how do we do this thing and have this power to change the world?
I’m so glad you asked! Because it’s kind of what I’m obsessed with lately.
I made a cute little printable poster you can put up in your office or stick in your planner – to keep you on track with your World-Changing agenda too. It involves a cartoon typewriter, so it’s bound to work, right?
Here's a 4 step world-saving plan for every little-ole-me who wants to help the great big weClick To Tweet
Seriously! There are a million little ways for you to carve out the mountain-side with me.
Here’s a starter list for this year’s world-changers:
1. Educate your dang self!
- What peeves you off?
This is a great place to start, because the fire in your belly will get you moving.
- Who is involved?
Anybody else out there who might also be peeved?
- Who is hurting, and How?
You NEED to listen to the people are at the centre of the thing. They are your new teachers.
- What are their obstacles?
Make this thing about the people who are actually in the pain. They are the ones who should guide your decisions and teach you about the thing.
- How can you stop making it worse?
Even recognizing our own part in these things can have a huge impact.
- How can you help to make it better?
Seriously though – make sure you are asking the folks directly affected. They’ll tell you what they need from you.
2. Get involved locally & realistically.
- Make buying choices on purpose.
You can have a huge impact by just avoiding a chain store and choosing a local option instead – or deciding to avoid plastic packaging or meat (examples only…but a couple of my faves to get rid of).
- Find groups you admire and support them.
Is there someone out there organizing a local movement you can support? This can be really simple for you and have a huge impact.
- Find the vulnerable people who need you.
Locally too – these people will be your teachers.
- Then ask them what to do.
You are not the expert on the problems of others – even if you are an expert in some things.
- Really listen.
Shake off your pride and learn.
- Maybe start a small program or project to do that thing, and let it be simple.
The smallest of projects can grow into a lovely change.
- Tell your friends when you need their help and light their fire.
Many hands make lighter work and all that…also – this is a beautiful thing to share with those you love.
3. Think bigger – when you’re ready.
- Run for office (any office!)
Look at the places in your area where you could be an asset or a change-maker.
- Start a movement.
That little project you started with your family last year? It could turn into a city-wide movement…or even more.
- Look to the people you want to help again and again and again.
Don’t lose sight of the real experts – even when you get more involved in the solution.
- Learn even more! Always be learning. Always be listening.
If you are learning, you are succeeding.
- Think about a career change that will support your beliefs & serve the people you want to help the most.
This is a big move, but when you’re ready it can be really fulfilling. You might even think of a way to create a business of your own – with your world in mind.
4. If you’re in business already, make it a platform from which to change your world.
- Do you have an audience who can learn from you?
Teach them through your message.
- Is there an organization you can support with your revenue?
Make a pledge to support someone who is really making a change.
- or with your Voice?
Highlight them and lift them up to teach your audience from their perspective.
- Do your customers or clients need that thing from you too?
- Could your customers or clients become allies in your cause?
Motivate them and give them the tools to grow.
I often start the process of finding a brand message for my clients here: by finding a way to make their business a force for world-changing in small but powerful ways. It’s my way of creating a change that makes other changes, and it is absolutely my favourite thing about the life I’m building in business.
I figure...if you are doing all of this work to build a business anyway, it might as well change the world too.Click To Tweet
We owe it to ourselves and to the rest of the world to make sure that the energy we are using to create a free, creative and exciting work-life is also creating a world we love & are proud of passing on to our kids.
So instead of looking away & hiding our faces under the fleecy blankets (though they are oh so soft and nice to hide under), let’s rest easier instead knowing that we are working on washing away one of the messy things in the world, or at the very least looking at it realistically and making an effort in whatever ways we can to change the world we have into a world we want.
There may still be countless other hurts still to heal, but you started something and used your life well.
And that is all that any of us can truly do, right? Tell me in the comments below, how you think you might tackle this whole, “Change the World,” thing.