What can I do to make a difference?

We all think that we are too small to make a difference and there is a brilliant quote by the Dalia Lama that sums it up nicely “if you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending a night in a room with a mosquito”.

There are countless examples of where one person has done a small step, every single day and created an amazing change, one that springs to mind of Jadav Payeng who on a sandbank planted some seedlings and over the course of a lifetime created an entire forest that bristles with life. He created Molai Forest which is now home to tigers, elephants and a whole diversity of animals and nature that had disappeared in the area.

And while we are on trees how about the bravery of the Kenyan Wangari Maathai who through her dedication, in a time when it was unheard of for women in a country like Kenya to stand up and make a difference, she created the Green Belt Movement and with the involvement of the UN they were responsible for 51 million trees being planted.

Look at the unbelievable bravery of Malala Yousafzai, who stood up to the Taliban and campaigned for women’s education and ended up being shot in the face. The Malala fund helps to improve access to education for women worldwide.

These are just three examples and none of them was born any different to you and me, they just choose to make their difference and against incredible odds, they showed up for us.

We can all choose to be the example to inspire others and that means taking the first step, as Brene Brown says we have to brave the wilderness. If we want different leaders it is no good waiting for them, we can become the leader we want to see, and we can become the change that we want to see. 

What can I do? Make my difference by showing up. We all have to get off the bus and stand up for what we want to see not stay on there and wait for someone else to do it first.

Do bad work

Do bad work, it is the only way we get to good work.

If we are too frightened to do anything as we fear it will not be perfect, then we will never get to doing work that matters, we will never learn and improve, and we will never do even better.

We will hide behind perfection and fear, we will not show up and we will make excuses as to why we can not do.

Doing is a thing of this moment and it requires us to step away from thought, from the mind and its sabotaging fears. We have to be vulnerable enough to try and trying means we will not be sure of the outcome, so we just have to do and that will mean some bad work and that’s OK. When we do things that fail or are not right then we learn and we do even better next time.

If we keep doing the bad, then the good comes, if we never do the bad, we never get to the good. Being prepared to do without concern, means we will get better and better. We will overcome the fear of doing and that is the breakthrough, that is the key to unlocking our true potential to create our very best work.

Keep doing the bad work and being brave enough to share it. Sooner rather than later, we get to even better work. The more we keep going the even better the work gets. It removes the block, it takes away the fear and builds a habit of being vulnerable enough to share the best we can do right now. As we ship more and more of what we can do we learn and improve.

Or we can stay stuck with fear, too frightened to do and then we’ll never learn, we’ll just hide behind perfectionism and put our shields up to prevent any exposure to risk. We will not reach our true potential because we didn’t show, we didn’t take the plunge, we stayed safe and avoided uncertainty.

Bad is good.