Updated: Jul 17
"Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, courage to see that they do not remain as they are." -- Augustine of Hippo
I started this blog with a book about changing yourself, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Next, we moved on to a book about how to change your relationships with the people you interact with daily, Be a People Person. And now, it's time to pull a new book from the library, and this time, we're going to learn how to change the world, Change Your World.
This progression is the essence of what it means to create positive ripples. It starts with the drop (you), and the change ripples outward, with each consecutive ripple getting bigger and moving further.
The other day, I was sitting at the dinner table, listening to the conversation around me. It was probably much like the conversations you hear regularly: the world is full of problems, and nothing changes unless it worsens.
Every day we see things -- in the government, health care, education, economics, business, media, entertainment, religious institutions -- that we wish were better than they are. But I'm here (with John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins) to tell you that positive change is possible!
First, Change Your Thinking
In their book, The Art of Possibility, Rosamund and Benjamin Zander write, "The frames of our minds create and define -- and confine -- what we perceive to be possible. Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and the problems vanish, while new opportunities appear."
I love the quote by Henry Ford, "Whether you think you or think you can't, you're right." The saying goes for your ability to change your world; if you think you can't make a difference, you're right, but if you believe you can do something about the problems you see, the world will change around you. You can make a difference no matter who you are, where you are, or what you have.
Then, Harness Your Hope
"Optimism is the belief that things will be better. Hope is the faith that, together, we can make things better. Optimism is a passive virtue; hope, an active one. It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope."
Have hope for yourself
The world doesn't need more dreamers. It needs more dream-makers who don't just think about change but make it happen.
Have hope for others
Be positive and focus on the positive change you can create, not the negative situation you want to eliminate.
Have hope for a better future
Dale Carnegie says it best, "Most of the things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
"If you want a better world, composed of better nations, inhabited by better states, filled with better counties, made up of better cities, comprised of better neighborhoods, illuminated by better churches, populated by better families, then you have to start by becoming a better person." -- Tony Evans
Use That Hope to Fuel Your Urgency
The title of this chapter, "We Can't Wait for Change," can be read in two ways. One, we can't wait for someone else to start making the changes we want to see. But also, we can't wait for change, much like a child can't wait for Christmas or some other great expectation. There needs to be an urgency to your anticipation and your action.
Urgency starts within
As Ralph Marston says, "Success requires both urgency and patience. Be urgent about making the effort and patient about seeing the results."
Urgency feeds desire
When you use your hope for a better future (for yourself and others) and tap into your sense of urgency for the change, it increases your desire for that change. In the words of Jim Rohn, "Without a sense of urgency, a desire loses its value."
Urgency inspires courage
"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. It takes courage to believe the best is yet to come." And we find that courage when we allow ourselves to feel the urgency of change.
Start Making a Difference
You get a call to action when you add hope and urgency together. But maybe you're still thinking, "It's too big for me. I wouldn't know where to start. Is it even possible?" You can make excuses, or you can make changes, but you can't do both. "It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter what you have or haven't done yet. It's never too late to do something to change your world." And as Simon Sinek says, "Dream big. Start small. But most of all, just start. The hardest part is starting. Once we get that out of the way, we'll find the rest of the journey much easier."
Stay tuned as we explore how to start changing your world!
This week, consider the following questions:
Name one need or problem you see around you.
How would the lives around you be better if positive change was made?