Want to make a difference? Three ways to start right now.

Butterfly

We all want to make a difference, feel like we are here on earth for a reason.  Truth is most of us feel totally unimportant when it comes to actually changing  the world.  We often think of grand external gestures that make the most difference to the world, but there are three simple things we can all start doing right now, that would radically change the world as we know it.  Now before you read them and get all indignant at me, let me clarify, I said they are simple, I didn’t say they were easy.  In fact, you could easily spend your whole life trying to master just one of these things.  But I do believe they are all connected to each other, and as you read them, I want you to imagine how different the world would be if we all did these things regularly.

Let yourself be vulnerable.

Author, researcher and speaker Brene Brown has written a lot about vulnerability.  She has identified shame as being the primary emotion that drives us to do bad things.  What she has found is that in letting ourselves be vulnerable, we find the courage to quit all the behaviors that we use to numb ourselves to pain.  We also separate from the shame cycle that keeps so many of us locked in misery.  In her book Daring Greatly she writes:

We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us.  But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us — that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough — and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs.  If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable.  In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.

She goes on to illustrate how shame correlates highly to violent crime, bullying, addiction and aggression, but that over-coming shame leads to innovation and daring: that in order to take risks we need to feel worthy and resilient to shame.  Notice how I said resilient, not immune.  In what ways does shame come up for you?  How has shame made you do things that hurt others?  Shame is a necessary part of humanity, but it shouldn’t be what shapes our every move.  For more great stuff by Brene Brown check out her TED talk.

Follow your heart’s desire.

In a previous article I discussed how our heart is the part of us that is most connected to our highest calling.  If each one of us had the courage to fully embrace what our highest calling was, we would live in a world where each person inherently knew, and felt, their own value.   When we aren’t in touch with our heart’s desire, in its truest form, we also find that we are drawn to material things, as a means to satisfy ourselves.  But we all know that money alone can’t buy you love, or fulfillment, or even happiness.  By truly tapping into what really fulfills us, what really inspires us, we find that we don’t need to consume as much, we don’t need to spend as much, and that alone would make a huge difference in the world.  Have you thought you really wanted something only to get it, and realize it isn’t enough?  Do you harbor desires that you don’t talk about because you are afraid they are selfish or trivial? For more on this, check out a talk I did this past May.

Realize your connection to everything.

It’s a myth and a falsehood that we are separate individuals with out connection to everything around us.  When we come from a place of feeling like we a separated from everything, we don’t consider how our choices affect our family, our friends, and our environment.  We also feel isolated, alone and cut off from that which truly feeds us.  One of the greatest lies of this era is that the earth is merely a collection of resources to be exploited by man, rather than a living breathing entity with a life all of its own. Read more about the  Big Lie and how it affects us.   The world around us is rich with things we cannot see or name, we are all connected to each other in ways we could never imagine.  Did you know that your heart has a magnetic field that affects people you come into close proximity with?  Or that most of us can sense what others are feeling even when they never say anything about it?  What if you lived your life knowing that you were part of an immense web of interconnectedness instead of feeling like an isolated being?

How do you incorporate or struggle with these three concepts?  Leave a comment below, and be sure to share this article if you find it useful.

Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place.  Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/
photo credit: nutmeg66 via photopin cc

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  • cayenne August 1, 2013, 10:49 AM

    If I was in charge of names and could name you, I’d call you the Spokesperson For The Big Heart. I can vouch for all three steps as truly effective, and some quite difficult.I just filled out a job application that seemed to imply that empathy for others (connection) was less valuable than productivity and going out of your way to please. Interesting…

    Reply