“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
These three quotes by Mahatma Gandhi have meant a lot to me as I’ve developed my political and social worldviews. The only undeniable way we can change the world for the better is to change ourselves for the better. Here are ten simple ways you can change the world for the better, beginning today.
1. Smile Early and Often!
Did you know that your body language has a major impact on your mood and emotions? Everything you do, from your posture to your facial expressions impacts the way you think and feel. Don’t take this mind, body, spirit connection lightly. Instead, take advantage of your ability to improve your mood and attitude by starting your day off with a smile. Smile when you’re alone, smile on your daily commute, smile in the workplace. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll also positively affect the people around you. One smile can have an incredible ripple effect with unlimited reach.
2. Explore The World!
If your last three vacations have all been to generic beach resorts with white sand and fruity drinks, it may be time to rethink your travel priorities. Relaxing vacations are great, but they don’t nourish your soul the way impactful travel can. By impactful travel I mean trips that allow you to visit places and interact with people that can create synergies of goodwill and respect. If you really want to change the world, you’ve got to understand the world. You’ve got to get to know people from different cultures and see them as they live. Can’t afford to fly halfway around the world? Plan a day trip to a nearby neighborhood you’ve been meaning to explore. Whatever it takes, you’ve got to break out of your ordinary environment so that you can interact with people you wouldn’t normally get to see.
3. Respect Your Body!
Stop abusing your body. From the food we eat to our sedentary lifestyles, we don’t always treat our bodies with the respect they deserve. Why does this matter? Well if you’re unhealthy and unhappy due to binge eating, years of cigarette abuse, or a lack of any physical activity, you’re probably not in a great position to be an effective change agent. You’ve got to reasonably take care of yourself before you can begin to take care of others. When you feel good physically, you end up with an abundance of creative energy and drive that will inevitably spill over to others.
4. Feed Your Brain!
It makes me sad when people brag about not having read a book in years. Reading is one of the most elementary forms of empowerment on the planet. The more you know, the more you can do. When I was a teenager I never read books. I was a lethargic college dropout with no real goals, no motivation, and no hope. Eventually I fell in love with books and my life changed. I became hungry for information and determined to impact the world around me. My sense of determination knew no boundaries. I was able to channel that determination into an action plan which led me to a Harvard degree, a productive career, and this blog which I use to make a small but meaningful impact on the world. [click to continue…]