One of the greatest motivations in this world is the desire to make a difference.
Many great minds throughout history have talked about how the deepest fulfillment in life comes from helping others & making the world a better place.
The idea that you can do something that will have a real impact on the lives of people is a very inspiring thought, but sometimes it can seem like we’re fighting an uphill battle.
If you want to have an impact on the world then you need to take effective action. Yet very often the right actions to take are a bit unclear.
Many people with good intentions are pushing, pushing, pushing, working way too hard and not getting anywhere. On the other end of the spectrum, other people are so overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed that they take no action at all.
In both cases the results are minimal and this can be a very frustrating experience, especially when you know that you have so much more potential.
So let’s explore what’s really behind the actions you take. It may be different than you think, and this could be why you haven’t been living the life you’ve always wanted.
What shifts can you make that will produce natural, almost effortless action that has greater impact & consequence?
Finding Personal Happiness
Many people think that if they can make the world a better place it will bring happiness into their life. While this may be true to some extent, it’s also a bit of a trap.
If you want to make a difference in the world then you need to be able to act from a place of service for others. You can only truly do that when you feel your needs are already met.
Personal happiness is a prerequisite to helping others because it enables you to put all your focus on giving. When you do your work with happiness, you’ll be 100X more effective.
Take an honest look at your life. Are you happy? If you’re not, then one of the biggest ways you can make a difference in the world is to first find happiness for yourself.
Scientists have found that happy people influence those around them to be happier through 3 degrees of separation. This means that when you bring more joy, happiness, love & positive emotion into your life, you impact the lives of everyone you know, and a whole lot of people that you’ve never even met.
When you have this basic foundation then everyone you meet will be touched by who you are as a person. This is when you really start making a difference.
Happiness comes from inside. You have to see the value inherent in you before you can bring it into the world. When you have it inside then you aren’t dependent on getting it from something ‘out there’.
Inner happiness enables you to be less invested in any external result. You’ll be able to more accurately see the truth of a situation.
You’ll be more apt to accept & respond effectively to problems when they arise, and less apt to ignore your strengths when other people compliment you.
This lays the groundwork for future success with whatever endeavor you plan to pursue.
Say it with me, ‘Happiness!’
Know Yourself On A Deep Level
Everyone has unique goals, interests & desires. Everyone has their own propensities & strengths. Your job if you want to make a difference in the world is to learn what these are and cultivate them.
If you don’t have any sense of what your gifts are then I would suggest you spend some good time getting to know yourself. Spend some quiet time in nature, take long walks, or sit & journal your thoughts.
Do anything at all that will help you reflect deeply and explore your passions.
One really great way to get in touch with your gifts is to spend time listening to motivational speakers. Listening to the stories of other people who have made a real difference in the world will resonate with something inside you.
At some point along your explorations you’ll get hit with an inspiration, an idea or an inkling of some way that you can make a change. This inkling won’t be coming from your head, but from your heart.
When you feel those feelings of optimism, inspiration & excitement, that’s a sign that you’re on the right track. Keep track of those feelings.
- What big ideas come to you when you feel optimistic, inspired & alive?
- What causes those feelings to persist & increase?
- What causes them to diminish?
At some point you’ll get an idea so magnificent that you’ll be forever inspired and motivated to work & give 100% of what you have to bring it into reality.
That’s when you’ll be making a difference in the world.
Be The Change That You Want To See In The World
Mahatma Gandhi is almost incessantly quoted as saying, ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’
This is such a great line because it demonstrates that even though all visible change takes place in the physical world, on a deeper level all change must begin inside.
If you want to make a difference in the world it necessitates you growing as a person. You have to learn & see the world differently in order to take the actions that are going to make the world a better place.
Actions are not the first step in the equation. Actions are a natural consequence of who you are. It’s who you become as a person that has the real impact. The only question then is ‘who are you?’
The accomplishments, success & fruits of our labor are only an aftertrail of all the growth that comes beforehand.
If the action you’ve been taking hasn’t been producing the results you want, then trying harder will not fix the problem. Added effort will only increase whatever results you’re currently getting.
The only way to change our actions then is to focus on becoming a person who exudes the change we want to see in the world.
The only way to do this is by getting in touch with your inner resources, developing your passions and always remember to…
Big things can take time to come to fruition. If you give up after just a few months then you’ll never get anywhere.
Time passes whether you want it to or not. All you have to do is use your time wisely. If you use your time wisely then in 5 years you’ll be guaranteed to arrive at a completely new experience. You just have to be patient and have faith.
This is another reason why happiness is such a great starting point for success with anything in life. All impatience stems from discontent with current circumstances. Impatience is also the reason most people give up!
If you start with happiness then patience is easy. You’ll be more likely to keep going until you reach your goals.
Good things in life are worth waiting for. If you don’t use your time for good then your time will just be used in some other way. Anything that promotes patience and trust will help you on your path.
Focus on finding greater happiness. Invest in yourself & your passions. Become that person who has a naturally shining effect on the world and you’ll already be making a genuine contribution every step of the way.
That’s something you can feel good about from the very moment you start.
Simply having the desire to make a difference in the world is enough to start your journey. You don’t have to know exactly what to do or how you’ll do it. Only that you want to live a good life and leave things better than you found them.
In truth, you can start right now by shifting your attitude and orienting yourself towards living your present life & relationships with love, joy & inspiration.
You don’t have to be the next Mahatma Ghandi in order to make a difference in the world. In fact, you can’t! and you shouldn’t try to be something you’re not.
The greatest thing that you can do to make a difference in the world is to be yourself. Be happy with yourself. Learn about yourself. Invest in yourself & experience all the joys of life as yourself.
Then with all the rich experiences you gain, share yourself with the world. Share your love, share your ideas, share your friendship & share your dreams.
Every kind word to a stranger… every time you help someone feel good about themselves and believe in their potential, you send a ripple of positive feeling out into the world.
This is how you’ll find less wasted time, better results from your effort, and more life fulfillment because you know you ARE making a difference.
Now what do you think about that?