The world’s problems are big. And complex. And some days it feels like nothing we can do will make enough difference to be worth the effort.
Next time you are ready to give up on making a difference in the world, I want you to remember these five things.
1. No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
Aesop said it first and it’s just as true today. Remember the last time someone made room to let you get into a lane at the last minute, and smiled as she did it. Remeber how that felt? That feeling, if enough of us had it often enough, could change the world. When in doubt, be kind.
2. Big changes begin with small steps.
I’ve seen it over and over again in my own life and in my teaching, and now specialists in behaviour change are saying it too: effective, long term change is often undermined by starting big. Forget the grand gesture or great leap. Look for the little things you could do. When you are not sure where to start, start small.
3. Someone, somewhere needs to hear your story.
Ever thought you were the only person in the world who was as sad/lost/lonely/confused as you? That’s how someone else feeling right now. They need to hear from you. Shine bright like a diamond, my friend, and tell your story.
4. The people you admire feel just as vulnerable and afraid as you do.
I promise. The only difference is that they learned how to carry on and act despite their fear. They learned not to believe the voice telling them they weren’t ready. Your fear is not a good reason not to act. To feel fear is human. To act anyway is what makes a hero.
5. We are all in this together.
So you don’t feel like you have, know or are enough to save the world alone? The good news is, you don’t have to. The better news is: together, we have everything we need to make this planet the kind of place you really want to live in. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t go it alone. Join the team.
Want to save this for later?
Here are two ways you can make sure you have these reminders on hand when you need them.
- You could bookmark this page, save it as ‘To read when I feel like giving up’.
- Or, and this is wildly cool, you could use the FutureMe.org site to send yourself an email in six months (or whenever you think you might be flagging and in need of a boost) with link to this page.
However you do it, keep these reminders on hand. Because when you feel like giving up, I want to be there to cheer you on again.