Also featured in Ariana Huffington’s THRIVE GLOBAL on June 29 2018.
I see you.
There’s an inextinguishable fire in your belly to make a positive difference. Maybe you don’t fully understand why, but you feel it, without a doubt. You know the world’s predicament and you wish you could do more. It pains you to see how far we’ve drifted collectively from the things that sustain and nourish us. You know there’s a better way. And you’re determined to help steer this big ship called humanity back onto the right course. You must keep playing your part. The world needs you.
Live by these 10 rules to leave your unique mark on the world.
1. You Change the World By Being the Happiest, Most Fully-Expressed Version of Yourself.
You know this to be true when you’re in the presence of someone who’s authentic, happy, and lit up from the inside. Their enthusiasm and positive energy ripple outward and you can’t help but be uplifted when you’re around them. They inspire you to be more and do more. Your job is to be you and be you fully. Authentic self-expression is your gateway to genuine happiness and when you’re happy, you change the world.
2. Purpose is Power.
Whether you believe you’re someone destined to impact millions, or whether you know intuitively that your purpose is to nurture and inspire the small circle within which you orbit, you need to find what your unique purpose is. There are so many ways you could help change the world for the better, but you can’t do it all. Find the particular area that you feel called to change and throw everything you’ve got at it. You’ll be more impactful when you’re laser-focused and clear about your unique mission. What’s the unique mark you want to leave on the world?
3. Be The Change You Wish to See.
If you want to create peace in the world, start by cultivating peace within yourself. Inner peace is the fertile soil from which true power emerges. Some of the most powerful changemakers in our history have also been the most peaceful. Make peace with the past. Get help if you need to. Make your personal growth your priority. Cultivate genuine self-awareness. People are far more willing to listen when you come from a place of compassion, understanding, and non-judgment. Try to see all sides of a situation and be willing to seek win-win solutions. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
4. Focus on What’s Going Right, Not What’s Going Wrong.
Nothing beneficial comes from complaining and whining about what’s not right. Expressions of anger, resentment, and self-righteousness cause people and organizations to get defensive and protective, and that’s not a place from which you can effect change. Put your attention instead on what’s working. Gratitude and appreciation are the express highways to optimism and empowerment. Appreciating the positives generates goodwill. It’s motivating and uplifting. And it’s the place from which true change can emerge.
5. Pay it Forward.
As a changemaker, it’s your job to be a catalyst for those around you. Display random acts of kindness. Just as a rude person can destroy your day, a friendly smile or gesture from a stranger can change someone’s day for the better. Count your blessings and pay them forward whenever you can.
6. Know and Protect Your Boundaries.
It’s not possible to ‘be the change’ if you’re feeling tired, depleted, or frustrated because your needs aren’t being met. It’s not selfish to set healthy boundaries and protect them fiercely – it’s essential. Put your own needs first. This is the highest act of self-love. And when you feel good, all those around you benefit too. If in doubt, refer back to Rule #1.
7. Play to Your Strengths.
To be effective and impactful, you must operate in your ‘Zone of Genius’. The world needs those special gifts that you have, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. Get serious about discovering your unique strengths and find a way to contribute them in service to your unique purpose.
8. Call Yourself Out on Your Own BS.
Don’t let yourself get in your own way. All those little voices inside that tell you that you’re “not good enough”, or “smart enough”, or “good-looking enough” are BS. It’s your primitive ego talking whose job is to keep you safe and comfortable at all cost. But the magic happens outside your comfort zone. If you want to grow, blossom, and make an impact, you’re going to have to get used to feeling scared and uncomfortable. You must feel the fear and do it anyway.
9. Trust That Life Has Your Back.
Your path won’t always be easy. But trust that those experiences are created to teach you specific qualities that enable you to grow and to do your specific work in the world. Your greatest insight can come from your deepest suffering. The greatest human achievements have come after immense and enduring pain. Trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should. You’re right where you’re meant to be, and you’re always being held and guided towards your highest good.
10. Find Your Tribe and Collaborate
Find the people and organizations who share your values and ideals and then connect and collaborate with them. Don’t try to operate in isolation. Recognize that when you collaborate, a nеw energy іѕ сrеаtеd that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. Reach out. Ask for help. Get yourself a mentor. Start discussions. Let camaraderie and teamwork be your goal. Keep your focus on the bigger picture and recognize that true power lies in doing it together.
No act is too small to make a difference.
And never underestimate the ripple effect of your actions.
In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International