Changing the world is far easier done than said.
John-Paul Flintoff’s ideas on how to change the world are now available in book form. Though I’d watched some of his videos I was drawn to how the book would expound, or not, upon them.
This hit me after an hour of reading How to Change the World: Flintoff is a master at turning your smallness into something giant and the world’s enormity into Lego blocks. So many of us struggle, self included, with this silent itch that whispers: you’re not making a difference. This book slaps the whisper in the face and responds with: your very act of being here is changing the world. Now that we’ve handled that nonsense, let’s guide how you change the world.
The book opens with a great chapter about the need to overcome defeatism. So many of us feel the world’s weight and our own smallness and, well, that’s a tough battle to climb and one that many of us might not even want to begin in the first place. Rather than simply throwing this idea out there and leaving it, Flintoff shares stories and offers “strategies” for how to reframe how we think of achievement at the personal and societal levels. There’s a section titled “Homework” and one lesson essentially asks you to take an inventory of yourself – everything from what physical resources you have to what skills and connections and possible links you could create. This changing the world stuff can feel awfully fluffy, but Flintoff, perhaps more than anyone else out there, brings it down to earth.
It’s inspiring to read lessons throughout history of world-changers big and small, but what will stick with me from this book is the theme that runs throughout: breaking things down. I become most stressed when there are 5-10 small things swirling in my mind. It could be article ideas and errands to run and/or future plans that may be years down the line. The swirling makes it so that I’m unable to really think deeply or tackle a single thing. As soon as I feel that rush coming on I back up, sit down and do the homework of making a list or taking inventory of myself, of what’s important, of what’s worthwhile to address in this particular moment. For this reason and because other readers will undoubtedly absorb one of the many other lessons, I recommend How to Change the World.