How To Change The World
by Jill MacGregor
Yea, you heard me, change the world. Too many times, the brakes get put on the process of change: sometimes out of fear, sometimes because you’ve given the power to proceed to someone else and sometimes because you’re uncertain as to which of the many directions before you is the best one to choose. Here are some ideas on maintaining positive momentum in the face of fear, uncertainty and those moments when you leave *the driving* to someone else.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me, but who is going to stop me.”
Focus on the can
I am just never going to get my leg up over my head and spin in a tight circle like the figure skaters. And that’s ok.
Advanced math—algebra, trig? NO. And I’m OK with that. Although it would have been helpful the other day when I was running late and trying to figure out how fast I would have to drive to go 10 miles in 5 minutes…but that might be a time management issue.
But I am certain, unwaveringly so, that the list of things you and I don’t even realize we can do is vast and limitless. You have barely scratched the surface at what you can create and learn and what new ideas will come from that. I am quite certain that you and I can do anything—given enough time—it may not always be pretty, but we can get it done right. It’s not so much that there are pieces you don’t perform perfectly, the possible stumbles you make as you move something new and possibly daunting. The important part of the process (elocution) is that you have moved yourself toward completion. Do you know what’s on the other side of completion? Accomplishment. That is a great big can, my friend. (I am purposely NOT saying loudly “You can’t spell Accomplishment without CAN.” That would just be way too Zig Ziglar of me…)
The thoughts I do want to leave with you are you can do it, don’t let perfection keep you from the task and you may be the only impediment standing in your way.
Handle Fear regularly
Fear, the little bastard, helps remind us that we’re doing the right thing. Like the sharp stick in your side, fear prods you to do all the things you shake your head at because you can’t or you’re afraid or you just don’t wanna. Fear says *shut up and do it* on a regular basis.
Fear can feel like the annoying relative at the holidays. The minute Fear shows up at the doorstep, you’re first thought is “Oh, you, again. I am just remembering the fun we had last time.” But the more time you spend with Fear, the more acclimated you become to its overly loud voice, its sharp gestures as it tells you what you should do next and its inability to ever be wrong.
The dread begins to dissipate and Fear becomes one more of those things you understand how to handle. You even begin to see, with all its brashness, Fear is always thinking of how you will benefit more than anything else.
Fear has very few agendas.
“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
Let your change affect others
I have some wonderful friends, whom I’ve touched on before in this blog, who made a huge life change and decided to leave a city that they’d lived in for nearly 20 years and take a year off. No jobs, lots of family, lots of travel and lots of thinking about what would make them happy in the next chapter. So many of their friends applauded their choice (with tears in their eyes) and were possibly envious…but more than anything else, you know it made their friends think.
We spend so much of our lives comparing and contrasting our situations with other’s situations…why not give people powerful distinctions when they look at your life and wonder how their life could be different if only they made similar changes.
We’re all examples, regardless of meaning to be or not. It’s your choice whether you’re an example of hazard or best practices…or just a top that spins.
Never discuss with the fish how to bait the hook
Blah, blah, blah. Really, could you talk it to death? Let’s see some action. Absolutely, get feedback from people you trust. Do update people on your progress—it’s a great way to keep yourself accountable. But that whole talking about doing it without ever doing it and it’s the same conversation over and over again just with different modifiers…Shut Yer Piehole.
There are so many ways to waste our time. Building things only to tear them down. Circular conversations. Getting input from the wrong people. Avoiding the thing our gut is telling us to do. Just shut up and do it already.
Tame a fox
There is a beautiful portion of ‘The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery when the Little Prince meets a wild fox who explains to him how the fox could be tamed and what it would mean for the Prince to tame the fox.
Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you’ve tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I’ll love the sound of the wind in the wheat…”
Establishing trust is a careful bond. Valuable connections with others require time. People want to know they can count on you. We all get busy. Sometimes we forget important things…and important people. Remind the important people in your life over and over why they are special and how they make you love the sound of the wind in the wheat.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of letting people know their importance in your life and reminding them that they can rely on you. Heartfelt words and meaningful actions can make for a powerful alchemy. Honestly, this is what changes the world.
Build a baseball diamond—with lights– in your cornfield
If everything we did was expected and the norm, there would never be any innovation. Real change begins with an idea that others don’t always understand at first and that can sometimes be dressed in a bit of compulsion and a side order of risk.
Ooh, just makes you uncomfortable talking about it, doesn’t it?
In other people’s eyes, you may approach your live like that all the time. It’s only when we take an inner look at our lives that we often think we’ve barely moved the needle—that reaction seems to come from a gauge that is designed to tell us that we should be doing more.
Plow that cornfield.
Secrets, secrets, secrets. Secrets become our cloak of invisibility—yes, you can hide behind your secrets and feel safe under their weight. Secrets aren’t ammunition others use against you unless you’ve made your secrets more powerful that they deserve to be. We all want to be understood. And we all have secrets, things we hide behind, things were afraid to share for fear it will drive others away.
We think it makes us weird.
Wave that freak flag. It is who you are. Embrace your contradictions because if you don’t, who the hell will? You can spend a lot of time crafting the version of yourself that you think others will accept. So there it is. The version of you that you think people will like or the version that is you, good, bad or ugly…
By the way, wouldn’t it be interesting if those two versions were pretty indistinguishable?
The power is in your hands. Don’t waste a minute.