We might not be able to change the whole world all by ourselves, but by making small improvements in our own lives and inspiring other people to do the same, a snowball effect may occur that can positively affect our planet in time.
So, what are the things we can do to bring positive change to the world?
Table of Contents
- Change your attitude
- Thinking process for developing an idea to change the world
- True change happens at the center
- Changing the world is about changing yourself
- Change the way we think about the world
- It starts by effecting a single person
- Setup a mission-based organization
- Improving the world will take effort on many fronts
- Choose quality goods
- No act is too small to create change
- Take a vacation that saves the planet
- Everyone can play a part in changing the world one step at a time
- Change happens when we shift a behavior
- Be kind and spread non-judgmental love
- Helping someone else through their pain
- Changing the world isn’t easy
- Start by doing the right thing
- Personal demonstration and a lifetime commitment are the keys – no skills required
- Supporting and empowering others
- Making a big impact can start with just small actions
- Education and reflection are key
- Know yourself
- Take risks
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the most important thing to consider when trying to change the world?
- Do I need a lot of money or influence to make a difference?
- How can I ensure that my actions have a positive impact?
- What are some examples of people who have changed the world?
- How can I measure my impact when trying to create change?
- How can I work with others to effect change?
- What are some examples of successful efforts to create positive change?
- What potential challenges can I face when trying to effect change?
CEO and Global Business Principal Safety Consultant
Change your attitude
You are part of the world so if you change, the world changes, albeit a tiny bit. But sometimes a seemingly insignificant change that you make in your life can have sweeping consequences.
For example, about 10 years ago I came to the realization that I didn’t like what I had become. I traveled a lot for work and was always grumping about delayed flights, bad service at hotels and restaurants, and being ripped off by the policies of rental cars. I was miserable both while traveling and at home.
One day, I got sick of listening to myself and made a commitment that every time I complained about something I would find three things to compliment with the same vehemence. It was tough at first but I pushed through it. I found myself so desperate to find 3 people/things to compliment that I started heading off problems.
I greeted hotel clerks with a cheerful smile and asked how their day was going where before I would snarl at them. After someone did a particularly good job, I would ask to see the manager. The manager would always come out expecting a big complaint, and it would freak him or her out when I would praise an employee for the service provided.
It made them feel so good that I felt good. I imagine it made them feel so good that they were treating people better. Then it became a habit with me. I have had airlines upgrade me because I offered my seat to a wheelchair-bound passenger. Hotels upgrade me because I made their day. People smile at me when I meet them on the street. And most importantly I am happy.
Be more optimistic
Optimism is a skill and needs to be developed. Humans tend to default to pessimism because it prepares one for the worst. But the worst case scenario is seldom the most likely scenario and pessimism makes you see the world as a bleak and predatory landscape.
Developing positive thinking helps you to become more resilient and strengthens your immune system. Optimism is contagious and the change it brings can be tremendous.
Think before you speak
Do you have a family member, friend or coworker that has made a real mess of their lives? Are you tempted to tell them that it is their own darned fault? Don’t. Before you speak (especially when giving advice) ask yourself these questions:
- Is it true? Too often we see a situation through a lens that may not be all that clear, in other cases we make assumptions with no evidence as to their efficacy.
- Is it kind? “The truth hurts” goes the old adage, but this needn’t be the case. When we are sharing our opinions on the actions or situation of another we can be honest without being insulting or unkind.
- Is it necessary? Do you have a friend who is fat? Do they know they need to lose weight (or quit smoking, or whatever)? If they know they need to change something in their life then you telling them that they need to change it isn’t necessary, it’s rude and intrusive and you should keep your opinion to yourself; in these cases, it’s usually about you being aggressive and wanting to feel better than trying to be helpful.
- Is it invited? If a person doesn’t ask your advice don’t offer it. If a person wants to know what you think they will ask you to tell them. Just because a person is going through a difficult time is not an invitation for you to run your mouth.
Smiling makes other people happy and puts them at ease. Happy people treat other people better and the world gets better.
Related: 19 Best Books on Happiness and Joy
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Whether it is to forgive your own self or someone else, learn to do so. If someone cuts you off in traffic forgive him or her.
You have probably cut someone off without meaning to, or maybe you did mean to because you were rushing to the deathbed of a loved one. Don’t let a random stranger control your mood.
Make the day, don’t let the day make you
You are a human being and how you react to the things that happen to you is completely within your control. Choose to be kind to strangers, charitable to the needy, and nice to people whether they deserve it or not.
If you make these changes you send ripples through the whole universe and who knows what great things will come from the positive energy you exude.
Co-founder & Chief Idea Guy, Growth Engine Innovation Agency
Thinking process for developing an idea to change the world
Here’s a simple thinking process for discovering and developing an idea to change the world:
Create an original idea that you are passionate about – and that you think has the potential to change the world. How? Use one of the following five, idea-thinking strategies:
- Continually ask yourself, “What’s the problem?”
- Adapt or leverage a new technology to address/solve a problem.
- Find ways to help people self-actualize.
- Save people or institutions money.
- Save time or increase the speed or efficiency of something.
To help you discover an initiative you are passionate about, start by creating a long list – of at least 10 – but preferably 25 areas or areas in which you would like to change the world.
Do you want to change the world with:
- A new app that makes commuting easier.
- A national restaurant concept that helps improve communication between family members when eating out.
- A new hydroponic, agricultural process that helps feed the world more economically.
- A service that helps older people or retirees get jobs.
- A non-profit that enables aspiring artists to get their notice around the world.
- A new type of adventure service (real or virtual) to aid former drug addicts in their recovery.
Once you have your arena in which you would like to change the world, use a variety of creative thinking/brainstorming techniques to develop your idea further.
One technique you could try is the wish technique where you wish for the “impossible,” and then try to figure out how to make your impossible wish real.
Another technique is the silly idea technique. Come up with not good ideas but silly ideas in your area of interest/passion and use that “silly idea” to inspire an original, practical idea.
A third is to use a whiteboard in your office – and every day – post preliminary ideas, areas for further research, questions, etc. that could ultimately trigger your “big idea” to change the world.
With a specific idea you are passionate about bringing to the world, do some inexpensive research to further vet and develop your idea. Talk with friends, family, business associates, even cocktail party acquaintances about the following:
- What they think of the idea.
- If they have any contacts that could help you either finance or help you learn more about the need for.
- The potential impact of your idea on the world.
To further crystallize the idea – and make it easier to communicate with others who might want to help you bring your idea to the world – create a billboard for your idea. Your billboard should have a benefit headline, visual, and reason-to-believe or call to action.
Example: A service that promotes mindfulness in classrooms.
Headline: Mindfulness training in classrooms… it’s time!
Visual: Kids in a classroom with their eyes closed and thought bubbles of different course material.
Reason to Believe: Teachers report a 30% increase in test scores among heir students taking mindfulness training.
Author | Sexuality Counselor | President & Founder, Academy for Adolescent Health, Inc.
True change happens at the center
Each person is unique and worthy; each person is born with the capacity to create, to learn, and to make positive change. How to change the world?
As a child, I hungered to change the world. I dreamt of traveling to foreign lands and establishing equity. I was caught up in a hero journey script, where one person took on evil and injustice and the world turned into a loving, safe place.
I was a teen in the sixties, so Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers inspired me – until their deaths when I realized standing for change in the world can be dangerous. Undeterred, I jumped headfirst into work for social justice.
It was my papa, a man without formal education, yet blessed with outstanding wisdom, who set me on the right path. First, he told me, you change or improve yourself.
Create an identity that welcomes all to you. Work to respect all, even those people who disagree with you. Live your message, because just saying it means little if your life doesn’t reflect your words. After you get yourself right, spread your message from your core – to your family, to your friends, to your co-workers, to your community.
For the last 50 plus years, I’ve focused on making change where I am. I bloom where I am planted. Young people are my focus, my mission, and my reason for teaching. In them, I see hope for real change. I envision a future based on respect and acceptance, not judgment and hate. Our kids are all right.
My motto is #EachPersonIsAPersonofWorth. Between 1988 and 2013, my staff and I taught over230,000 teens quality sexuality education focused on respect, consent, and sexual health.
We’re still teaching. We made a real change in our small community by lowering teen pregnancy rates, but more importantly, we created a culture of respect that transformed teens into ambassadors for respect.
One changes the world one person at a time. Create internal change and spread the message. Create and maintain leadership succession and sustainability.
No mission is about one person – do not seek fame or fortune, but dedicate your life to change that goes on in a legacy after your death.
As I tell my team, it’s not about us. It’s about change that makes the world a better place, One Kid at time TM. If one young person’s world is changed for the better, and that one young person passes on a change to one more person, we have a ripple that makes lasting change become reality.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Psychologist | Author | Relationship Expert | Co-Creator, Inner Bonding®
Changing the world is about changing yourself
It’s about moving out of fear, anger, anxiety, and depression and into the peace, love, and joy that results from learning to love yourself.
Loving yourself isn’t about taking a warm bath or getting your nails done. It’s about learning to take responsibility for your feelings – for learning to stop abandoning yourself with your self-judgments, addictions and blaming others – and learning to treat yourself like someone you love.
When you abandon yourself, you then project your anger outward, which is what is causing the problems on our planet. When you judge yourself, you judge others. When you think you are not good enough within, you then project that out, which causes racism, sexism, the need for power over others, and greed.
People who are emotionally abandoning themselves try to fill up externally instead of realizing that it’s only love that fills and brings joy.
Each of us has the choice each moment regarding our intention, and there are only two intentions to choose from:
- The intent to control.
- The intent to love.
It’s choosing the intent to control that is destroying relationships and destroying our planet. It’s time to choose the intent to learn to love yourself and share your love with others.
When you learn to truly value who you are as a unique expression of the Divine which is Love, and you know yourself to be love in your soul, then you can see the love that is in each of us. As we each learn to love ourselves and fill ourselves with love, that love overflows and we want to share it with others.
Our world would heal if each person was focused on learning to love themselves and then extend their love to others and to the planet.
Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Change the way we think about the world
Move! When we move our bodies, we change the way we think about and relate to our own world.
Becoming more aware of our own bodies, our kinesphere, and the people in it can lead to greater empathy which can reduce violence and enhance compassion. When we know how our words and actions truly impact others we think twice before “pulling the trigger”.
Being mindful and bodyful is within everyone and with awareness and practice, we can make the world a better place.
Steven I. Azizi, Esq.
Lawyer | Founder, Miracle Mile Law Group
It starts by effecting a single person
I truly believe that everyday people can change the world by understanding that it starts by effecting a single person as opposed to a large aggregate of individuals.
A good way to begin is by approaching your colleagues, family, or friends, and ask yourself how can I provide some value to these people? It could be as simple as sending them an article that relates to a conversation you previously had or congratulating that person on a recent success.
Related: Building Strong Work Relationships
By building this momentum of good deeds and thoughtfulness, more and more people will be attracted to you. You’ll soon realize that as this number grows, your ability to make a change on a greater scale will easily be accomplished.
As a personal anecdote, I remember starting out as a new attorney with a solo practice. As time progressed, word spread of my firm’s quality work and soon I was making a change within the legal realm. I’m confident this is because I provided value to my clients and colleagues.
Founder & Director, The Oculus Institute
Setup a mission-based organization
The single most powerful thing you can do to change the world is to build a company, a nonprofit, a movement, or some other organization. One person can only do so much alone, but by rallying others to your cause you can magnify that change dramatically.
Setting up this mission-based organization requires a lot of thought. History is littered with well-meaning attempts to change the world that went off the rails. Here are some things to consider:
- Sustainability (especially financial sustainability, which is an advantage for creating a purpose-based company).
- Culture of the organization (especially getting the right key people involved early and making sure that culture flows from the top).
- Implementation (a clear actionable path to achieve specific, measurable results is far more powerful than a fluffy vision without an operationalized plan).
- Long-term vision, including growth plans.
- Structure to ensure that the sustainability, culture, implementation, and growth endure beyond you.
Improving the world will take effort on many fronts
Right now, I think most of us would agree that the world is not in good shape and that we seem to be heading in the wrong direction—perhaps irreversibly. There are numerous reasons, ranging from climate to resources, to politics, to economics, to prejudice.
One big problem—and the one I’m focused on—is that we’re in the midst of an epidemic of incivility.
Literally an epidemic. It’s been shown that rudeness and unkindness are contagious. Just like the measles. According to researchers at the University of Florida, rudeness spreads like a cold or the flu—it’s passed from one person to the next until masses of people have it.
Not only do people who are subjected to rude treatment themselves subsequently behave rudely, even those who only witness rudeness succumb to rude behaviors. This explains so much about the state of our world these days. We are experiencing a fast-growing epidemic.
But there’s good news from science, too: kindness is equally contagious.
It begets more kindness. When we’re kind, we inspire kind behavior in others, and they, in turn, inspire others. The effect ripples out beyond our awareness. Whether we extend kindness, receive kindness, or merely witness kindness, the result is the same: it acts as a catalyst for more kindness. Pretty soon, the world is changed.
So, we have a choice of which contagion we want to spread. We are more likely to choose wisely if we recognize this and start asking at every interaction: Do I want to expand rudeness, disrespect, and incivility, or do I want to replace it with compassion, respect, and cooperation?
If we pay attention and consider both who we want to be and what sort of world we want to live in, we will start changing the dynamic and restoring civil discourse. It sounds easy, but it’s not. It takes practice and it takes paying attention.
We can further counter the epidemic of incivility and start changing the world by learning to absorb an insult without retaliating and to hear harsh words and not hurl them back. These small acts will slow the reverberation of unkindness. It’s hard to do, but it gets easier with practice.
Improving the world will take effort on many fronts. This is just one of them. But it’s a big one!
President, Saddleback Leather Co.
Choose quality goods
I say that by buying quality goods for the rest of your life, you will change the world. It may not be noticeable, but you will be doing your part. And not just with leather bags, but with shoes and toasters and couches and fishing poles, etc.
Quality is good for the environment. Buy nice or buy twice. If everyone bought bags that lasted twice as long, then we would have half as many bags in landfills. If everyone bought shoes that lasted twice as long, then we would have half as many shoes in landfills. Half as much mining for the metals and half as much oil used to make the synthetics.
Quality is good for the poor. They spend far more money on buying low-quality goods over and over again. A general rule of thumb, if you pay twice as much, it will last ten times as long and you’ll save a ton of money.
Quality is good for the makers. Factories who produce low-quality goods are often abusers of their people. India has an estimated 18.5 million slaves. China has 3.5 million and most of them are making low-quality goods. And if they’re not slaves, they are desperate people with no options but to work in horrible conditions for peanuts.
High-quality companies care about where their goods are made and who makes them. Low quality low priced companies generally don’t want to or care to know. It’s not a good deal unless it’s a good deal for everybody.
When people ask me why my leather bags are so expensive, I tell them that they’re asking the wrong question. They should ask why theirs are so cheap. Buy quality and change the world.
CEO, She Started It!
No act is too small to create change
Anyone can do something to help change the world. No act is too small to create change. With that said, here are a few ways we can do to help make change a better place to live in.
- Be kind. Kindness is contagious. Once you do an act of kindness, the person you showed kindness will mostly do the same to other people. It’s like a domino effect. Being kind is as simple as helping someone in need.
- Spread happiness. You don’t need to do so much to make other people happy. By way of greeting the saleslady in your favorite shop or praising your subordinate at work for a job well done is enough to make someone happy.
- Be a law-abiding citizen. The laws are there for a reason. They help keep any community or country to stay organized and orderly. Follow the rules, follow the laws and you will help a lot in creating a better world.
- Be respectful. Respect the elders, respect every single person around you.
- Keep it clean. With the emerging problems in the world today, particularly the environment, you are helping a lot by simply keeping your surroundings clean. Put your trash on the right places and go green.
These are just five of the many simple things you can do to help make a change. Do your part. By doing your part, you are not only changing the world for yourself but for generations to come as well.
Co-Owner, Destination: Wildlife
Take a vacation that saves the planet
The way we vacation matters. Some travel budgets go right into the pockets of big business – but some help save the world. We can have a fabulous travel vacation and help climate change and change lives for the better all at the same time – simply by how we chose.
We are not necessarily talking “home shares,” those are fast becoming big business, too with investors buying multiple homes for the purpose of short-term renting to tourists – and destroying once peaceful neighborhoods. And we are not talking about the minimum wage for the hotel maid.
Where do you want to go? The islands? Mountains? Interested in culture? Beautiful nature?
Related: 32 Best Travel Books of All Time
Here’s one example:
Puerto Rico: Have authentic experience instead of the same-old of a corporate-owned look-alike resort. Enjoy the peace and serenity of a fully outfitted treehouse in a lush rainforest garden. Listen to coquis sing and a waterfall’s gurgle, watch rainbow-colored birds and butterflies from your deck.
Eat delicious meals made from garden ingredients. Be close to the beaches, a national forest, and the fabulous art and culture scene of old San Juan.
The treehouses were hand built in the traditional way by a local artisan family who continues to manage and tend the regenerated rainforest garden (a failed agriculture scheme had rendered it clear cut and barren for 100 years).
After hurricane Maria destroyed the gardens, they rebuilt without government help. Your vacation allows those families and their extended families and the community to continue the recovery. And the regenerated rainforest adds life to the planet’s “lungs” absorbing carbon and helping to balance the causes of climate change.
When you chose with care, your week of relaxation helps save a little section of the world.
Anywhere you go, from Bali to Brazil or from Namibia to New York, there are vacation opportunities that economically benefit the community and the environment.
Look for experience providers that follow “responsible travel” practices – you will be helping to save the planet, and having a great vacation, too.
CEO, Mavens & Moguls
Everyone can play a part in changing the world one step at a time
Examples abound from picking up litter in your neighborhood to volunteering at a local food bank or women’s shelter to reading to children at the library to visiting with the elderly on a regular basis.
It does not take any special skills or training just a desire to pitch in and time commitment to make it a priority. Every community has nonprofit organizations doing great work on the ground and all of them are under-resourced so giving them your time and/or money is a huge help.
Whether you want to help children, animals, the environment or people with special needs, just ask around your local community and you will find many ways to change the world. It starts with you.
Certified Mindful Lifestyle & Stress Management Coach, The Quiet Zone |
Author, The Quiet Zone – Mindful Stress Management for Everyday People
There are things we can actually do to change the world:
- Stay mindful. Worrying about the past or the future isn’t going to change either.
- Be solution oriented. Instead of complaining about what should be, think about what is, and ask yourself, “What is something positive I can do about this?“
- Be empathetic. Walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins. Think about what their experience must be like and how they are feeling before reacting.
- Find gratitude. There is always something in every situation for which we can be grateful – even if it’s only that we have the strength to get through it.
Related: 18 Things to Be Thankful for (The Ultimate List)
- “Think globally, act locally.” No matter how big an issue is, if many individuals play their part, significant change can be accomplished.
Mindset and Business Coach
Change happens when we shift a behavior
If you’re feeling really stuck on what you can do, the first thing to know is that change happens when we shift a behavior, structure or belief in the system.
And that everyone’s sweet spot is that intersect of your unique mix of talent, skills and interest and that little part of the system you can nudge. For example, if you are a photographer, maybe it’s taking images of a subject that shifts a belief we have. Or maybe it’s taking your design skills and creating better signage or equipment that shifts a behavior.
Change can happen through these small shifts, so it’s not about trying to take on a huge problem but to collaborate on these small shifts through the intersection of your unique skills and talents.
Much more simplified, whether you care about climate change, poverty, equity, inclusivity or another global issue, you can introduce the conversation of things you really care about to your circle of family and friends so you start to create the awareness.
Find your tribe and collectively raise your voices and demand changes to policies and regulations that may be keeping systems in place. And finally, choose to live more sustainably, eat less meat, make your home more energy efficient and choose an electric vehicle.
Lifestyle Transformation Coach | Aspirify
Be kind and spread non-judgmental love
Changing the world is easy, most would laugh at this. However, there is one simple thing you can do, and it costs nothing and very little time.
Be kind and spread non-judgmental love. Especially in our modern world people feel alone. By being nice and loving, you can change someone’s day. It does not have to be major. Smile, say hello, talk to the cashier without your phone out. Listen to your kids and spouse. Just be there for people. If we all did this the world would be dramatically different.
Author | Educator | Strategist | Owner, Financial Black Belt Academy
Helping someone else through their pain
On a personal level, I have developed the M.E.N.S. Network. M.E.N.S. stands for Mentoring, Encouraging, Nurturing, and Strengthening. I have also published a book titled The Plan, which takes the concept to a whole new level.
How I change the world is through this process: setting aside my priorities, entering into someone else’s struggle, and walking alongside him or her on a path of restoration through mentoring, encouraging, nurturing, and strengthening that person.
I find thinking about helping someone else through their pain is the best way to take my eyes off of myself and change the world… at least the world that I live in.
Founder, Effective Nerd
Changing the world isn’t easy
There are a lot of people with competing viewpoints and a limited amount of time, energy and resources. It may feel hopeless to attempt to do anything.
I have noticed that most people use the government as their way to donate to charity. They think that their taxes are enough to change the world (or at least their country). People will vote for the government to open charity programs. If the law does not pass, they stop trying to help.
I believe that this is a flawed approach to changing the world. I don’t believe that doing the bare minimum civic duties is going to change anything. We need to get out there, get our hands dirty, and do it ourselves.
For example, say there is a bill proposed that would help disabled people. The law would increase everyone’s taxes by $1 and use the money to open a charity. The vote is lost by 40% to 60%.
Typically, the next years of bills and elections would be spent fighting for this cause. However, let’s say the 40% in favor of the law all donated the $1 to charity and pitched in a little. They would make a far bigger impact on the world than their failed voting efforts.
Voting and political action are not enough. Changing the world does not require the permission of our leaders. It can be accomplished by regular people working together. Let’s get out there and make a difference!
If you want to change the world, don’t wait for your leaders and society to come around to your cause. Get out there, help people, and donate your time and resources.
Founder, Raising Kane
Start by doing the right thing
Everyone thinks that to change the world you have to have superpowers. You have to be unique. You have to have something everyone else doesn’t have. The truth is we can all change the world!
We can all make where we live a better place by doing the right thing- whether it’s picking up garbage, helping out our neighbor, holding the door open for a total stranger. Going the extra mile helps everyone. It gives you a sense of pride and for others, that there are still good people out there in the world. You will influence them to do better themselves.
The people you see changing the world or who you look up to, they do the right thing daily, overtime with consistency which adds up to great things, movement.
People like us want to change the world, not just talk about it! Be your own superhero! Start doing the right thing!
Workflow & Systems Specialist, Relezant
Personal demonstration and a lifetime commitment are the keys – no skills required
You don’t need a degree or very much practice to change the world. Whatever really matters to you whether it’s cleaning the ocean, making people laugh, saving animals, or recycling if you don’t embody what you believe in, it won’t make a difference. No matter if you’re doing business or just taking a personal stand for something, ultimately, people will look at you not just your work.
So I invite you to check in with yourself and see if you are demonstrating a lifestyle that aligns with what matters most to you. This is a critical part of changing the world that not everyone touches on.
It’s not just about the actions you take, although integral, it’s also about who you are, what you demonstrate to the world, and that you do it again and again over time.
If you think of the most famous people or your heroes you can see that they clearly showed the world by example and stuck with it. So get involved with something that lights you up and makes your heart swell, I guarantee you even if you do need a certification or to study something, it won’t be hard and it won’t take long.
Poet | Entrepreneur
Supporting and empowering others
I used to think that one person couldn’t change the world, the way I saw the size and quantity of what can be considered a “problem” in today’s modern societies. However, after some deep exploration, I have found that one strategy has changed my life (and hopefully others around me as well!)
I believe all we have in the world is the love we share with one another. That’s the only thing that matters, to me, and I would imagine to most. Deep respect and treasure of the traits and personalities that make people unique are what gives me life and hope for the future.
Related: Why Is Hope so Important in Life?
Every small act of support, understanding, and kindness is a drop in the puddle of life, and the more love you drop, the stronger the waves of the ripple effect. I try to listen, appreciate, enjoy and help other people every single day.
If anything, it’s changed my life. I feel happier, more grateful, more connected and in tune with the environment and the humans around me, more capable of love and appreciation. My world has opened through supporting and empowering others to find their own happiness and truth, and I hope theirs has too.
Personal Development Blogger, Kyrabe Stories
Making a big impact can start with just small actions
I know this sounds like a quote to put on a cute kitty poster, but really it’s that simple and can also be fun! In fact, I offer you a challenge to get started.
Have you heard of the #TrashTag Challenge? In short, we find an area that’s covered in trash, take a before picture, clean the area, take an after picture, then challenge our friends to outdo our contributions.
We did a small area at the Sanford Riverwalk in Florida for some adorable ducks! When I say “small area”, I mean it took us less than thirty minutes to clean! To push the challenge further, we even made a video to show how simple it was to do some good!
Now here’s the bigger impact of it: let’s say three friends decide to take on your challenge then three of their friends take on their challenge. Because of your small contribution, you would have started a cleaning chain full of motivated challengers, and I can vouch that this is one challenge that I don’t mind losing to others!
Journalist | Communications Professional, Find Courses
Education and reflection are key
Changing the world is not as difficult an endeavor as it may seem. When we think about old social conventions with clear examples such as gender equality, we realize that what was normalized in the past now appears outrageous over time for modern society.
This doesn’t happen magically. It is up to us as citizens who influence progress. We rely on values that drive our lives, behaviors, decisions, and everything we do. If we are aware of these values, we can stick to those that will benefit us and others.
Values will drive all kind of actions, both voluntary and involuntary, helping to foster change.
For this to happen, education and reflection are key. We can engage in both activities in many different ways. When watching movies, playing games, reading books, living experiences, or interacting with people we expose ourselves to situations where education and reflection take place whether consciously or unconsciously. If we act according to our positive values everyone can influence this process and have an impact on others and the world we live in.
Artist and Business Owner, The sophisticatedgeek.com
I started craving change at 9, inspired by the trauma and depth psychology books that were readily available in our home. As was knowledge, my environment lacked empathy and human qualities. I saw very early that a lot was wrong with this planet so I wanted to use my intelligence and strength to heal it.
Over the years, I have studied psychology, fashion, social sciences, business, tech, qigong and everything else I could get my hands on to source a solution. I dug deeper and deeper to find a way to eradicate what I consider the basic problem we have, the one root cause of all problems: the lack of true self-knowledge, a lack of individuation.
Know yourself, and all darkness fades. All wars and separation become unnecessary, as do their side effects, like poverty. My approach to solving the problem of stimulating mass individuation was first aimed at a unique band concept devised at age 19, which, after many trials and tribulations failed.
I had trained my body and mind, helped many people, networked and studied business to prepare myself, but could not find people who shared in my vision. Eventually, I developed autoimmune because the stress and adversity I faced in music, in business and generally from others was unbearable, and was knocked out for a few years.
Two years ago, I had to reorient completely. Now I am trying to bring the same values and strategy into a tech project, an empathy app that connects people at a very deep level. Its hard and complex work, but I feel I am going somewhere.
These are things you can actually do:
- Accumulate as much useful knowledge as you can.
- Get as healthy and fit as can be, and train your mind to deal with adversity even of the unimaginable kind.
- Don’t expect anything but hard work. If you really want to change things, you will have to fight much adversity, and will probably make enemies- even if that is the last thing on your mind. Change usually requires a change of the status quo, which rarely comes about without friction.
- Train your inside, train your outside, and draw circles. Find your crowd, and use marketing to speak to them.
- Prepare for emergencies, have a database with emergency contacts, and save up if you can.
- Learn to run a business, learn to build an app, learn to sing like a pro. Whatever it is, use it as a platform to communicate change.
- If you feel insecure, do something small. Pick up litter, paint a wall, adopt a rescue animal. No matter what.. just do it. Every little thing counts, and together, we can move a mountain.
After many hours, days and years of being preachy and trying to push my ideas onto people, I’ve now resigned myself to a more “sit-back and do my own life” attitude to change the world, it seems, actions often do speak louder than words.
Friends sometimes say they admire my path of trying new life and work opportunities or making travel part of my life and learning, and of making my art, wellness, writing and experiences a priority. Or they say, “you are so lucky that you can travel.”
But the truth is, I’ve had to make my own “luck”, and endure stress and skimping, living on a budget, going without things like new wardrobe pieces, eating out, and more so that I can travel.
I’ve even ventured into the unknown and seemingly unstable territory of living without a home so that I can live on the road. I did the latter by renting out my condo to finance my travel so I can experience more of the world!
To me, changing the world means touching individuals and creating lasting and meaningful things that keep on giving – in my case art and children’s books with messages. My messages are of appreciating the beauty and the paradise we live in – and appreciating the gifts of animals, oceans, flowers, family, culture.
I’m an educator, mom, friend, artist and book author. I teach yoga indoors and outdoors, and the beach yoga I guide my students through is another way of appreciating our landscapes and natural resources and also “earthing” and “grounding” – which has been scientifically proven to heal our bodies and reduce inflammation.
When I see my son experiencing and taking risks – whether it is living a farm life, studying software engineering, traveling to Africa – I support him. He is tasting the flavors of the world.
Struggles are for learning, and my struggles and career redirections inspired personal growth.
I hope to inspire others to take risks. To try things that help them grow and integrate all their loves into their lives – arts, movement, scientific or mathematical interests, family experiences or whatever makes them glow and smile.
Volunteer and Publisher of eClean Magazine
Volunteer at your local animal shelter
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Three years ago, my daughter and I started volunteering at our local animal shelter, mostly because my daughter was having health issues and loves animals so we would go spend time with the shelter animals.
I’ve always loved animals but always thought that I would rather spend my charitable donations on programs that help people. That is until my shelter experience helped me realize how much animal charities actually do help people.
Since I started volunteering at the shelter, I’ve become super sensitive to the amazing impact that animals have on our emotional health and well being. Our shelter experience helped my daughter’s physical and emotional health improve more than any medical treatment she received. They make the world a better place.
So when it comes to changing the world, a simple thing to do is a volunteer at your local animal shelter, or foster pets (which we’ve since done), or adopt.
Going to the shelter for even a few minutes to love on the animals makes a huge difference for those animals, and it is a wonderful mental health booster for the volunteers as well, in turn, making the world a brighter place.
General Manager, Emily’s Maids
In this era, there is only one thought that stands out and it is “think globally, act locally”.
Recycle. The single most important thing you need to start doing. Then comes the saving of water. You waste a lot of water, no matter when you read this. Don’t load your dishwasher with less than half of a load.
Don’t let the water run when you are brushing your teeth. Use public transportation. This way you save money and help the planet. This is the most basic things you can start doing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most important thing to consider when trying to change the world?
The most important thing to remember when trying to change the world is that even small actions can make a big difference. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of our problems, but every positive action, no matter how small, contributes to the greater good.
By focusing on our goals, working with others, and staying true to our values, we can positively impact the world around us. We must be patient and persistent in our efforts, recognizing that real change takes time and requires sustained effort.
Above all, we should never forget why we are working for positive change – to create a better future for ourselves and future generations.
Do I need a lot of money or influence to make a difference?
No! While financial resources or relationships can help accelerate progress toward certain goals, they are not necessary for creating meaningful change. Many successful movements in history were started by people who were passionate about their cause and willing to work hard for it.
How can I ensure that my actions have a positive impact?
Research and educate yourself about the problem you want to address.
Collaborate with others to create a more effective solution.
Measure the impact of your actions and adjust as necessary.
Listen to feedback from those you are trying to help.
Be patient and persistent in your efforts.
What are some examples of people who have changed the world?
Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through nonviolent civil disobedience.
Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped advance the civil rights movement in the United States.
Malala Yousafzai advocated for education for girls and survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban.
Greta Thunberg brought global attention to the urgent need for action on climate change
Bill and Melinda Gates have dedicated their fortune to improving global health and fighting poverty.
How can I measure my impact when trying to create change?
Measuring results can be challenging, but it is essential for evaluating progress toward goals and making informed decisions about where to focus efforts. Depending on your objectives, you can use different metrics to track progress.
For example, if you are working on environmental issues, you could track changes in carbon emissions or ecosystem health over time. If you are working on social justice, you could track changes in policy outcomes or public opinion polls related to your cause.
How can I work with others to effect change?
Look for like-minded individuals or organizations that share your goals and explore ways to work toward common goals. This could mean teaming up for specific projects, sharing resources or expertise, or simply supporting and encouraging each other.
What are some examples of successful efforts to create positive change?
Countless examples of successful movements and initiatives have brought about positive change throughout history. Some notable examples include:
The civil rights movement in the United States helped ensure that black Americans were legally protected.
The women’s suffrage movement, which won the right for women to vote in many countries around the world.
The global effort to combat HIV/AIDS by increasing awareness, research funding, and access to treatment.
The movement for renewable energy sources as a means to combat climate change.
These successes demonstrate the power of collective action and sustained efforts toward a common goal.
What potential challenges can I face when trying to effect change?
Creating meaningful change is rarely easy—there will likely be obstacles and setbacks along the way. Potential challenges include:
Resistance from those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Lack of funding or resources needed to achieve goals.
Burnout and fatigue from sustained effort over time.
Difficulty in building consensus among various stakeholders.
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