Guess what? You can be the positive change the world needs. It seems impossible to be the catalyst for changing the whole world, but it’s not. Let’s look at the 7 reasons we fail to act.
If we understand why we don’t act, we can overcome the obstacles in our way. We see activists who make a positive difference in the world because they are in the media spotlight. However, many other people like you and I can create a better planet.
“Don’t become a Buddhist. The world doesn’t need more Buddhists. Do practice Compassion. The world needs more compassion.” — Dalai Lama
Chances are, one of the reasons you are reading this is because you are aware enough to have compassion. Congratulations on being one of the people who empathize with others and wants to make the world a better place. You aren’t looking to make enough money to buy a yacht. You want to make a contribution that benefits the lives of others.
“I’ve become more and more aware of the promise and struggle to teach the global mind nowadays because I use every chance I get to ask faculty and administrators of management education programs why we don’t offer at least one course – not even required, just an elective – on the world’s religions.” — Warren Bennis
You don’t have to devote your life to an environmental or humanitarian cause to make a difference. Let’s look at the excuses we make to keep from stepping up to make a difference.
The 7 Reasons We Fail to Act
1) We Don’t Have Time to Be the Positive Change Agent
See, that was easy. We want to communicate the need to get a vaccine for COVID, but we are just too busy. The truth is if we spend 1 minute with one person, we can make a difference.
Say COVID isn’t your cause. There are plenty to choose from that can use that one precious minute. The planet needs our help to slow climate change. Do you have time to change the thermostat one degree? One degree up in the summer won’t make that much difference, but it will save energy. Please do the same in the winter and turn it down one degree. One degree hotter in the summer and one degree colder in the winter doesn’t take long.
“If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities.” — Tim Ferriss
We’ll get to the solution for the issue Mr. Ferriss is talking about in a moment. We’ll outline the steps you can take to overcome this obstacle.
Bottom line, we think the reason why we don’t act is the lack of time. However, it’s a matter of budgeting your time. You can still be a positive change agent if you only have one minute. So, this should solve the first of the 7 reasons we fail to take action.
“Take action now, because tomorrow never comes.” — Marshall Sylver
2) Don’t Have Enough Money
Yes, child hunger is a problem, but I’m not Bill Gates, and I don’t have the kind of money that will make a difference. The truth is even if you send one dollar each month, it will make a difference. It’s easy to find legitimate people who can funnel your dollar to the right cause.
Go here. www.charitynavigator.org
Consider the source of this article and over 300 other free online resources. How about donating to our organization?
3) Don’t Want to Make a Long-Term Commitment
Not a problem. Budget bot your time and resources. One minute and one dollar. Is that too much, or are you afraid it won’t make a difference? Guess what? It will make a difference, and you can stop at any time. You can be the positive change agent the world needs.
4) It Would Make Friends or Family Feel Uncomfortable
So, don’t tell people. You are making good karma, and you will feel good about it. The real issue is that people will always give negative feedback about wasting your time and money.
“The most important thing is to follow your instinct and get involved with some friends who have similar tastes and aspirations and like music as much as you do.” — Mick Taylor
5) It’s Too Hard to Be a Positive Change
It’s not hard; use your imagination to think of the simple things you can do now. You can get involved simply by recycling the plastic to bring home. You can avoid buying stuff packaged in styrofoam and plastic. Just doing the small things makes a big difference. Again, you’ll be making good karma.
6) We Think We Will Fail
It’s not a matter of self-confidence or desire. It’s the fear of failure. But the truth is it’s just uncomfortable to put yourself out there. The good news is that once you do it, you’ll likely love it. Every non-profit has its way of helping its volunteers get acclimated. They don’t want you to fail either. Everyone is on your side.
7) There Are Too Many Good Causes To Choose From
So, don’t pick one. Rotate your time, money, and efforts. Most people do this to find their niche. Once you start, you’ll find one cause that speaks to you. You’ll find one mission and vision you can get behind, and it will feel “good” and “right.”
Of the 7 reasons we fail to act, this one causes the most frustration. We are motivated but overwhelmed with where to place our energy and resources.
“The truth is that we’re at a critical juncture in the history of our species and if we don’t act soon, we could inhabit a world we don’t recognize anymore.” — Al Gore
“If we take all these actions and if it turns out not be true, we have reduced pollution and have better ways to live, the downside is very small. The other way around, and we don’t act, and it turns out to be true, then we have betrayed future generations and we don’t have the right to do that.” — Tony Blair
How to Be the Positive Change Agent
Okay, we’ve overcome the 7 reasons we fail to get involved. Now for the easy steps to get you started. Getting started is all it takes. It’s smooth sailing once you take the first step to act.
1) Why We Don’t Pick a Cause
You probably see that many things need attention if you are aware and awake. We have global climate change issues, the ongoing COVID pandemic, and blatant political corruption. There are so many things that need attention it’s hard to decide where to put our efforts.
The first thing you should do is sit down and search your heart. Write down a list of no more than five issues that you feel you need to address. Then rank them from the most important to the least.
Now make a list of the time and other resources you can devote to these causes.
Allocate your resources. Here are some things to consider.
Be mindful of the laws surrounding the cause you choose. For example, if you want to help homeless people, some cities have ordinances against giving food directly to the homeless. Crazy as it seems, you can end up in jail for trying to help others.
You have your list of priorities. Start small, but begin. Take number 5 on the list, the lowest priority, and do something. Send them $5.00 or something. You’ll feel better once you get started because you have done something to improve the world. Starting is the hardest part. Now you are the positive change that you always wanted to be.
Now move up your list from number 4 to number 1. Allocate most of your time and resources to your number one cause. However, don’t forget that even small contributions are a huge help.
3) Stay Within Your Budget
No matter the amount of time or financial resources you have, be sure to stay within what you allocate. Giving too much can cause you to burn out. Overcommitment and overreaching are common problems that lead to failure.
One of the main reasons people leave the non-profit sector and other organizations with social and environmental causes is burnout. Sometimes it feels like you aren’t moving the needle at all, and it can be frustrating.
So, it is critical to keep your eyes on every achievement, no matter how small. Stay positive. There are people who you don’t know who are cheering your efforts.
“Celebrate small victories often. Mourn failures quickly. Do what’s necessary without fanfare.” — Chris Brogan
Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. We offer this curriculum through our individually tailored virtual learning academy and traditional face-to-face sessions. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (1). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia