- Peter Bouloukos
The Power of the Individual to Change the World
Collectively we face so many daunting environmental, social and economic challenges. Single parents are raising families, people are at work longer and working harder than ever, the government is burying generations in debt right now, we have a lot of “noise” in the world and it’s not easy to survive without feeling depressed or exhausted!
The solutions to such problems are not going to come from individuals who are self-loathing, cynical or weighed down by bad habits. Nor will answers and awareness come from folks who are isolated in their own little worlds repeating the same mistakes. These individuals are hard-wired to contend “this is how it is” rather than “this is how amazing it could become.”
Solutions will derive from seriously turbo-charged individuals who have enough love, positive energy and optimism to believe anything is possible. People who see potential in themselves and in others and invest time and energy in making the very best possible things occur.
I passionately believe in the power of an individual to change the world for the better. A few months ago I had a “clarifying moment” about what was most important to me and why! We rise by lifting others up. Don’t give to “get.” Give to inspire others to give when and where they can.
Some believe the greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.
When I am at my personal best, I experience a rush of creativity and spontaneous generosity. But even when I am not 110percent, I still give the best I can with what I have. I don’t want everyone to claim to bring their “A-Game” each day. It’s impossible. But when we have a big "Why" something or someone is important to us, even when we are 80percent we are doing the best we can. Many entrepreneurs, leaders and parents will grasp this concept!
What I do encourage is for everyone to be 110percent committed to a specific mission or goal knowing we won’t be perfect each day. I take authentic interest in the well-being of others. In my observation, one of the best natural talents I have is to help other people flourish and with this, they too start giving more of themselves.
One thing for certain, it takes a strong internal commitment to remain in “high energy” mode all of the time. I fall in and out of that mode depending in large part upon how well I’m taking care of myself, how much fun I’m allowing myself to have, and how much space I’m giving myself for learning.
Fact: it can be tricky to keep all those plates spinning, particularly when you have a busy life with dozens of other to-dos competing for time and focus.
People often beat themselves up for not being “perfect” or not doing the healthy things they know they are “supposed” to be doing. This tends to enlarge a negative cycle filled with self-doubt where most are conditioned to give up, quit and then contend or complain about why something will never work. "You are today where your thoughts have brought you and tomorrow you will be right where your thoughts have taken you."
Remember, it’s key to simply be “perfect” in commitment to values, beliefs and goals. You don’t have to do everything all at once. You can’t be everything to everyone or everywhere at one time.
Each “yes” you make should be an absolute commitment to be on time and to give your very best, even if you are not 110percent that day. Each “no” simply means you can not be 110percent committed to something for whatever reason be it time, energy or maybe you don’t believe in the project or mission. No means just that, “no.”
If you are a “try” or “maybe” person, in my experience, do your best to eliminate that inner-negotiation. It let’s others down and ultimately you down as well.
In short, it’s more important to be something to someone than everything to everyone.
Likewise, in an internal commitment to health or a goal, don’t try to do it all at one time. Making even one small, feel-good step or change in life can free up enough positive energy to propel you forward to making more great changes in other areas over time.
Human beings will do almost anything to avoid pain.
Now, if for some reason you believe meaningful personal change is beyond reach, think what it would take for you to get to a more abundant place. Giving back might require we let go of old norms and habits. Maybe it's as simple as taking better care of yourself. It could be facing an uncomfortable truth or fear. It may be letting go of victimism or self-doubt and making yourself totally available to fun, love and perhaps the unknown (new experiences).
What habits or choices that you make could really be holding you back from being and giving the best? Perhaps today is the day you let go of habits that no longer serve you and this choice will allow you to experience greater levels of love, success and happiness.
In my opinion, the “world” is not “out there” it’s within all of us. Change on all fronts occurs when we see how small our internal struggles are compared to the sometimes harsh realities around us. When we truly pay attention, we all have more time to address wildly important issues than we think. The simple fact is that we don't need a reason to help another human being. It's a magical place if you think about it.
Giving back does require a certain amount of "giving up" and in my experience it's a beautiful and rewarding place to be. We all have unique talents and gifts that can change the world.
Don't worry about walking a mile in my shoes, try a day thinking in my head...
Just my three cents…