At this time of year – Winter Solstice and the ending of the year – we often reflect on what we would like to do differently in the year to come; what we would like to change in our lives and if possible in the world around us.
How can we change our own lives, let alone the world?
Gandhi said, “In a gentle way you can shake the world.” Here are some things to think about to do just that. (The following are the words of Michael Angier, founder and president of SuccessNet.org, well worth repeating.)
Know that all significant change throughout history has occurred not because of nations, armies, governments and certainly not committees. They happened as a result of the courage and commitment of individuals. People like Joan of Ark, Albert Einstein, Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and Rosa Parks. They might not have done it alone, but they were, without question, the change makers.
Believe that you have a unique purpose and potential in the world. It’s not so much something to create as to be discovered. And it’s up to you to discover it. Believe that you can and will make a difference.
Recognize that everything you do, every step you take, every sentence you write, every word you speak—or don’t speak—counts. Nothing is trivial. The world may be big, but there are no small things. Everything matters.
To be the change you want to see in the world, you don’t have to be loud. You don’t have to be eloquent. You don’t have to be elected. You don’t even have to be particularly smart or well educated. You do, however, have to be committed.
Take personal responsibility. Never think that “it’s not my job.” It’s a cop-out to say, “What can I do, I’m only one person.” You don’t need everyone’s cooperation or anyone’s permission to make changes. Remember this little gem: If it’s to be, it’s up to me.
Don’t get caught up in the how of things. If you’re clear on what you want to change and why you want to change it, the how will come. Many significant things have been left undone because someone let the problem solving interfere with the decision-making.
Don’t wait for things to be right in order to begin. Change is messy. Things will never be just right. Follow Teddy Roosevelt’s timeless advice, Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
The genesis for change is awareness. We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. Most of the time, we aren’t aware of what’s wrong or what’s not working. We don’t see what could be. By becoming more aware, we begin the process of change.
Take to heart these words from Albert Einstein—arguably one of the smartest change masters who ever lived: All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and then works its way out. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
In order for things to change, YOU have to change. We can’t change others; we can only change ourselves. However, when WE change, it changes everything. And in doing so, we truly can be the change we want to see in the world.
May we all create beautiful change in 2018!
My love to you,
copyright © Faun Fenderson