We live in a world where on the news every day, we see violence, terrorism, inhumanity, political discord and tragedy in many forms. The local and national news spread the news out like a menacing dark cloud of locusts spreading across the sky. People at work and home all talk about the bad news. “Did you hear the bad news about…”
The average person sits in their office or living room and says to themselves, “That is terrible, but what can I do about it? I can’t change this cold, hard world. I am just little old me.”
What if you could? How could you? Do you want to change the world?
Then be the light. Before you stop reading this thinking this is just some new age Pablum- wait! You can change the world, and I believe it is possible- but how? Here is what you can do today:
Start internally. If you want to change the world, Bucko you need to take a look in the mirror and start with you.
Are you an optimist? Are you an upbeat cheerful and happy person yourself? If you are, then fantastic! If you’re not then what can you do to change your mindset and outlook? If you are of the mindset that it is not possible, then you need to think again. It has been scientifically proven that optimism can be learned, as outlined in Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism.
If you want a more peaceful world, then look for what makes you at peace first. Take a hard look at yourself and determine how you can share your light with the world. This is all about inside out. As Buddha once said: “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind, he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
Start with your family. I am a professional speaker, and at a recent training seminar I was conducting a man said, “Well Shawn, you haven’t met my wife. She is a real pain in the backside!” The comment made me sad because I wondered how his wife would feel if she knew what he was saying about her to other people. But I realized he probably says it to her face too.
Are you married? Start with your wife. Think about this right now—what can you do every day to make her feel more loved, respected, appreciated, and happy? What little things do you do for her? I do small acts of kindness for my wife every day to show her I love her.
What can you share with her that will help her? Support her? Encourage her heart, mind, and soul? What can you do to change her world? If you want to change the world, be a light by being first a better husband. If you are a father, what can you do to motivate, inspire and encourage your kids? I was raised in a household by a father and mother who told me anything was possible. They raised me to be an optimist. Imagine the real impact if every family raised two optimistic, confident and kind people and sent them out into the world. As Colin Powell once said, “Optimism is a force multiplier.”
Start locally. When my wife Rachael left her last job, she had been there almost 21 years. She was very touched by the hundreds of emails and phone calls she received from people on her last few days at work. She was amazed at how many people came over to her office in person to bid her farewell.
Why is that, you might wonder? My wife is a very upbeat, funny, supportive and encouraging person. However, she didn’t realize how much of an impact she had on many people there. The reality is people want to work and be around and with people who are optimistic, encouraging and supportive. You can be that kind of the light by encouraging and supporting people in your local town and your workplace. You have no idea how much light you can bring.
Start Online. You can participate in the negative back and forth comments on tons of other social media, or you can choose to be a force for good. My wife and I decided this year to stop supporting or commenting on anything negative on any social media. Fire only builds if you feed it all the time. We don’t fan the flames. We have defriended people on Facebook who are negative or hateful. We don’t support hate. We do the opposite—we post positive comments, compliments, and positive content. We share inspiring video clips and quotes. We want to be the light on social media.
There you have it—and if each person shared their light and everyone did that then we can change the world, and it is possible.
As Jack Layton once said, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Photo: Getty Images