As we move into the new year, many of us have historically created new years’ resolutions. After 2020, we may just be praying to survive, tentatively embracing the unknown. For me, instead of just enduring the new year, my goal is to live purposefully. Inspired by the book, Becoming Better Grownups, I want to live every day making the world just a little bit better.
I seem to have always had a drive to make the world better, to help those around me. Many times, this passion has been a hindrance. It manifested in an expectation that I could and should change the world. I felt a responsibility to make everything peaceful, fair, and just. Obviously, this is a tall order and not within my ability. Two recent learnings are helping me refocus my desire to save the world.
First, I don’t know what is right. When I was young, I thought I knew right and wrong, good and bad. I thought my way was the right way. What I now know is that there is no absolute right and wrong. What is best can change depending on the circumstance. Sometimes what I believe is the best option, sometimes it is not. I have set aside my immature notion that I know right from wrong or even that there is an absolute right and wrong. I have learned to pause and wait for clear direction and to not act on my ego-filled judgements.
Second, a concept Brad Montague expresses deftly in his book, is that change does not come across in grand gestures. It is not LaRusso winning the championships, Bruce Willis defeating Hans Gruber, or one single amazing event that changes the world in an instant. Change happens slowly through almost microscopic shifts – the kind word on the right day, a reminder of an inspirational book, sharing experience strength and hope. A tiny nudge in the right direction can be one in a line of many small efforts that lead to the big change. Evolution happens slowly over time and so does changing personally and globally for the better.
Make the World Awesome
Instead of looking at what you can do for money or what will impress your friends, live your life by creating awesome wherever you go. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? What do you do instinctively without even trying? If you focused on using your inherent talents for good, how could you make the world more awesome? Maybe it would be a new vaccine. Maybe it would be a way to make home schooling easier. Maybe it would be an awesome piece of entertainment to bring joy to others.
Don’t look at what the world needs. When I do this, I think of things that need to be done but I personally have no ability to do them. First look to your passion. What is like breathing to you? What can you not help yourself from doing? Maybe you will know immediately how your inherent skill will help others, maybe you will uncover that over time. Either way, start with you and have the courage to share your special gift with the world.
As we move into 2021, won’t you join me in living a more purposeful life? Dig deep, uncover, and accept what you are uniquely created to do. Have the courage to share that talent with the world. And know that your small efforts will be part of a chain reaction of efforts which will bring about good in the world.
Wishing you all a happy, safe, healthy, and inspiring new year!