Put yourself first… Because if you can’t care about yourself, how the hell are you gonna care for someone else? (unknown)
It seems counterintuitive but you have to put yourself first to have sustainable real-world impact. On an airplane, you are instructed to put your own mask on first before a child’s or someone else’s. If you are not in position to support and give, whatever you’re trying to support and give to will crumble quickly. If real-world impact for you is about saving people or saving the world, put your mask on first! Take care of your needs. Take care of your finances. Take care of your physical health. Take care of your sanity, sleep and general well-being. The world needs strong change-makers who are in for the long haul.
2. Seek ‘power with’
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (Aristotle).
‘Power with’ adds up to more than the cumulative power of putting together individual passions, talents, knowledge and know-how. You become a force to reckon with when you work together because all these parts become exponential. What are you passionate about? What change do you really want to see happen? Find like-minded individuals to do one small thing with today to move that goal forward. For example, if you want to establish a school somewhere, put the idea out with like-minded virtual friends and watch the project take on its own life where different talents, ideas, people’s networks, etc. create momentum you could never have envisioned on your own.
3. Practice ‘power from within’
“Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. I can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics” (Einstein).
I learned this principle during my teens when I was in track and field. What seemed a totally non-spiritual coach taught me to just visualize and visualize winning. This is modern day quantum physics. We are connected to everything and whatever we want to see changed in the world is subject to the thinking and energy connected to it. You can so absolutely influence reality because you are connected to all that is. What was that that you wanted to see in a changed state or condition? Every morning, close your eyes and see that thing, person or situation in its healed, beautiful, perfect state as if the transformation is already done. You are moving energy to that state.
4. Ensure ‘power for’
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” (Leo Buscaglia).
‘Power for’ is using the ‘power with’ others and ‘power from within’ to ensure the well-being, inclusion and care of others. It’s about extending not only what you have to others but yourself. Yes, we all have power within us to change our circumstances and create a better world. But the reality is also one in which some of us are privileged in many ways. To create that changed state, what is one thing you can do today to ensure you give of yourself? It can be a smile, money, your ear for a moment, a ride, a call, inspiration, motivation, an idea, knowledge, asking the right questions, networking, etc. etc. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. Think tiny. What is one tiny thing you can do to facilitate that change today? Remember, it’s the habits of giving of yourself in small ways that are sustainable and add up over time.
5. Facilitate ‘power to’
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” (Chinese proverb).
The biggest way to have real-world impact is through empowering another. You absolutely want that changed state to be sustainable, and for it to evolve, you have to facilitate the capacity of others to ensure that change and its continued evolution into even better states. It’s great to give charity and things. But it will go a longer way to also enable others to have the capacities and know-how to live prosperously and abundantly. What frameworks, curricula, thinking, programs, learning, skills, resources, etc. can you work with and extend to empower another?
The big ways to have real-world impact come down to the practice of two principles: being that which we want to see and extending that to others.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi).
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give” (Kahlil Gibran).
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Originally published at medium.com