“The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” — Marianne Williamson
Sometimes, to become our best, instead of trying to do it all, it takes committing to a few simple, powerful things.
Some things simply work, and can change the world every day — in small ways that convert into big ways.
You can start doing some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to start others.
1. Avoid the Noise of Other’s Opinions
Today you face endless commentary, fake news, and pointless posts and updates — all trying to steal away the moment.
You can turn it off and find the peace and power of being centered. This is the most important thing you can do every day.
Opinions are fickle. They’re always changing. Finding your inner voice is the most powerful daily work you can do. First you have to take care of your focus, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:
- Meaningful Purpose
- Staying Focused
2. Answer the Most Urgent Question
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Too many people go through life without ever asking themselves the hard questions, the ones that matter most.
You have an infinite capacity to influence and help others.
Sometimes it’s a smile, a helping hand, sharing things, giving selflessly. It’s about skipping ego, and pride. You become the best version of yourself by losing helping others become the best version of themselves.
3. Write Your Story (and Change it, if necessary)
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” — Albert Einstein
Being the author of life is exciting. You create it, you write it.
The greatest, most inspiring stories start with an author who wants themselves and others to feel something that truly matters.
4. Listen Deeply to Someone — Really Listen
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia
If listen deeply to others, you find open minds, and willing hearts all around, as the universe works with you to achieve your dreams.
Connect deeply with others. Turn off the technology. Be present.
Listening is simply powerful. I have a friend who, at one point in his life was so depressed he was ready to throw it all away by doing the unthinkable. And then someone he hardly even knew called him to take the time to listen. He’s never had second thoughts about his decision that day to live. All because someone cared enough to listen.
5. Join Forces with Others
“The best partnerships aren’t dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion.” — Sarah Maclean
When you join forces with others, you create infinite possibilities.
As you partner with others, you make things emerge that are far greater, more beautiful, and more insightful than anyone could have achieved alone. It starts with sharing.
6. Put a Big Idea to Work
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo
Believe in the potential of your ideas. When we know, we know. It’s about going forward, and making it happen, at all costs. Fighting for it. Seeing it through.
Everyone has an incredible idea, a breakthrough waiting to happen. It just needs to be planted, and cared for, so it can grow. Big ideas always start small. With a moment of insight. A conversation. A thought. They can be fleeting and quickly forgotten if we don’t put them to work.
Give them a home where they can come to life.
7. Boldly Share Something You Believe
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Teddy Roosevelt
Life is filled with critics. But standing for something is a truly noble thing. Put yourself out there, give it all, leave it all on the field, and be yourself even when the stakes are high and the price is painful.
8. Challenge Something You Don’t Agree with
“To be valiant is to stand.” — William Shakespeare
The dissenting voice isn’t always embraced. Don’t let it stop you. Speak up anyway.
Tell your truth. Be who you need to be. And stand by it with everything you’ve got. You’ll never regret it.
9. Serve Someone Who’s Being Ignored by Others
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” — Muhammad Ali
Service is the key to life. It’s the light that brightens anything and sharpens your focus on what matters most. It’s taking that extra, seemingly inconvenient moment now with that one person who needs it most. Dropping whatever we’re doing to touch someone’s life. To listen. To care. To cry together. To let our hearts sing. To be present. And to stand to create something completely different together, something that inspires the world to be like it’s never been before.
10. Forgive and Give Someone a Second Chance
“There is someone you can forgive. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel.” — Henry Eyring
When you forgive, you change for good. It empowers you.
Those who need forgiving most may not seem to need it, or want it. Forgive them anyway. Who knows? It may change their life forever. In the play Les Miserable, Jean Valjean was changed forever because of one small act of mercy, when a Bishop quickly forgave Jean Valjean for stealing his silverware. Jean Valjean decided right then to spend the rest of his days serving others and sacrificing everything to help those in need.
Who’s your Jean Valjean? Who’s waiting for you to forgive them for that one thing? To finally free them? And let them live their full potential. Time to pay it forward. Time to live again. Time to forgive.
11. Do Something You Think is Impossible
“It’s kinda fun to do the impossible.” — Walt Disney
The thing about the impossible is it’s been mislabeled. At least for those who know. Everyone told Walt Disney it was impossible to create a full-length animated film. Then he did it. Everyone said it would be impossible to make a theme park with the level of quality and storytelling and magic he had in mind for Disneyland. Then he did it. Impossible is simply something that small minds wait for big thinkers to change. Think big. Bigger than what exists today.
Whatever exists today was created by someone, designed and manifested. And you can do the same. You can build things that can change peoples’ lives. You can give the universe a gift that will keep on giving.
12. Commit to Something Difficult
“I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me — spiritually and financially.” — Denzel Washington
Everything starts with commitment. One decision. To do it. Just do it. Nike has it right.
Every athlete who’s ever lived who’s conquered their fears, trained a ridiculous amount of days, months, years, and decades to become the best in that one moment, those few milliseconds when everything is on the line knows what it means to commit. It means 100% heart. Going the distance.
As you push passed the false limits we place on our minds. Breaking through. Passed the negativity and distractions. We giving ourselves the greatest gift of a life well lived. A life of purpose. The kind that makes us dream dreams and get up in the morning day after day after day to give it all again. Knowing that it matters.
13. Choose Happiness
Happiness is a state of mind. Abraham Lincoln had it eternally right when he said “we’re about as happy as we make up our minds to be.” For someone who faced the most hellish time in the history of the United States faced the terrifying reality of a country ripping itself apart with the responsibility to do something about it, he chose. He chose to be who he needed to be when destiny was tapping him on the shoulder. And you can do the same.
Step forward and be counted. If the chaos is spinning all around you, choose. If the stress is so thick it seems to be tearing life apart at its seams, then choose.
Choose happiness, and it will come. Happiness isn’t pop tarts and feather beds. It’s not money bins or makeovers. And it’s not celebrity and fame or a million followers. Happiness is the peace of mind of knowing you’ve done good in the world. That you’ve helped someone to live better.