Guess what? You can be the positive change the world needs, even though it seems impossible to be the catalyst for changing the entire world. It’s not impossible. Let’s look at the 7 reasons we fail to act.
If we see what needs to be done, but do nothing about it, we are no better than those don’t see the need. When we understand why we don’t act, we can learn to overcome the obstacles in our way.
You don’t need to devote your entire life to a cause in order to have a positive impact. There are many people just like you and me who can contribute in our own way to creating a better planet.
“When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well-financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.” — Neil Young
Important Life Lessons
Chances are, one of the reasons you are reading this is because you are awake enough to see the changes that need to be made. If you have compassion, congratulations on being one of the people who empathizes with others and wants to make the world a better place. You are not trying to make enough money to buy a yacht, instead; you want to do something positive for the greater good of humanity.
“I’ve become more and more aware of the promise and struggle to teach the global mind nowadays. I use every chance I get to ask administrators of management education programs why we don’t offer at least one course 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 explore the excuses we make to keep from stepping up to make a difference.
The 7 Reasons We Fail to Act
Failure is actually a part of the process of success and we actually learn many of the most important lessons by trial and error. However, but the culture does not recognize the value of missing the mark. The value of success is emphasized in school and work. Yet, we learn the most from not getting what we aim for. So, failure becomes a roadblock when we should embrace and celebrate it. (1)
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. If we spend 1 minute with one person, we can make a difference.
Say COVID isn’t your cause. There are plenty of other worthy causes to choose from that take very little time and effort to make a difference. The planet needs our help to slow climate change. One easy way to save energy is by adjusting the thermostat just one degree warmer in the summer and one degree cooler in the winter. Do you have time to turn the thermostat up by 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 to one degree.
“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.
“A life filled with silly social drama and gossip indicates that a person is disconnected from purpose and lacking meaningful goals. People on a path of purpose don’t have time for drama.” — Brendon Burchard
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. If you only send one dollar each month, it will produce 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. Learn to budget 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. It is possible for you can be the positive change agent the world needs by doing a variety of small things.
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.
“You only have temporary curiosity, amusement, and challenges, but that does not necessarily mean you are really convinced that it’s necessary or worth doing. It’s just a way you have to set up some kind of activities to follow your instincts or your curiosities.” — Ai Weiwei
5) It’s Too Hard to Be a Positive Change
It’s easy; 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. Rather, it’s the fear of failure. Because it’s scary to put yourself out there. The good news is once you do it, you’ll likely love it and make it a part of your life mission. 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 to 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 a list of the top five issues you feel the world needs 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 improved 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 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 getting meaningful results at all, and it can be frustrating.
So, 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
We are choice making machines. The life lessons that shape us are opportunities. They prepare us to make better choices in the future if we are aware enough to grasp what the situation is trying to teach us. Change can be scary. So we put off or procrastinate making important decisions.
You contribute something to the world every day, sometimes a small positive contribution can be the catalyst for something larger. Every day brings the opportunity for life lessons.
(1) A Celebration of Failure: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3974547/