I came across a beautiful quote:
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
Author: Unknown Monk 1100 A.D.
Well put. The first point of change should be ourselves. By doing that, we provide a model for others. And it’s this model that can serve as a vehicle for larger change.
Have you ever had a personal success? Found a great partner, lost a lot of weight? If you have, then you know that people will come out of the woodwork to find you: they will call you out of the blue, ask you how you accomplished what you did, etc. Conversely, many others will feel jealous of your success. They will bemoan the fact that the good fortune fell your way, instead of theirs. Either way, your personal gains created a ripple effect.
Get Moving Immediately
I recommend that you do 27 things when you wake up—but make sure that all those things center on YOU. Lift weights, do exercise, practice your guitar, make your lunch for the day, etc. Then when you’re finished, you’ll be better able to help others. That’s because you’ll be more complete as an individual. And only a complete individual can help others become complete. Remember, you cannot give others something that you don’t have.
Review Your Goals
Also, I recommend that you review your goals frequently. Do you have goals written down? You should. Take a periodic review of these, making sure that you are accomplishing what you set out to do. Remember that pyramids are not built in a day; they are constructed one brick at a time. Have you done the little steps today? Have you made the important phone call, or sent the important letter? Stay focused on your goals. Only then will you be able to reflect back later with a positive sense of accomplishment.
Reflect on Your Progress
Finally, take time to reflect at the end of the day. You might want to save time, say half an hour, to take a walk around the neighborhood. Do you have reflection time? Do you meditate on what you do? Again, you should. It’s important to have perspective. Educational theorists have stated that students never learn material unless they periodically rest; in short, they never have time to process the information if they never take a break. So it’s important to provide yourself with reflection time. This will give you important perspective on the actions of your day.
Many young people want to change the world. But it’s important to remember that change starts with ourselves. Being the best version of yourself should be the imperative goal. Everybody is not perfect, true. And perhaps we can never reach that state of perfection. But we should, at the very least, be an excellent version of our ourselves. Only then can we begin to change the world.