Lots of people want to make a difference in the world. But with difficulties related to self-preservation and a lack of understanding of what changing the world entails, otherwise positive intentions can yield few workable efforts.
It is always admirable to try and change the world for the better through good deeds, but it is vital to ensure that the results of those actions are more than just an ego boost for you. They have to be tangible and have precise results! Here are five ways to make a real difference to change the world.
1. Know Yourself First
A lot of people try to do helpful or impactful things without actually liking what they’re doing. There’s nothing wrong with devoting yourself to tasks and projects in a selfless way, but you’re only human. At some point, trying to keep going in a strenuous effort that you’re not passionate about can lead to:
- Feelings of resentment when your actions are not recognized in a way you feel is sufficient.
- Quicker burnout or exhaustion because you don’t find joy in one you do
- A notable “emptiness” that comes from a lack of purpose; you feel that you do so much but don’t feel fulfilled, which can make daily endeavors seem hopeless or worthless
So before you get started on making a difference, take personal inventory.
- What are your desires?
- Do some sorts of ideas come to you when you feel most inspired and optimistic?
- What causes these ideas to get shot down, ignored, or not used?
- What is it that you want to see in the world?
- Do you ever need help?
- What interests you?
- What unique goals do you have?
- Where do your strengths lie?
- If you had one wish for others to help the people around you, what would it be? Is that attainable? If not, how can you do the next best thing?
When you ask yourself these questions, you open yourself up to your discussion, granting you new insight into both positive and negative varieties into your psyche. You may not get the answers right away, but when you do, they will be enlightening. And, chances are, they’ll help you see what sorts of altruistic efforts are ones that your temperament, preferences, strengths, and goals are most suited to.
2. Participate In Charity Work to Make a Difference
Charity is probably one of the most obvious ways to make a difference in the world. It forms neutral links between your acts of kindness and generosity to happiness and positive thinking, too, which is always a bonus. Now that you’ve taken personal inventory of yourself, you likely know what kind of charity work is best suited for you. The next step is determining how you want to go about it and which charities are the best to support. Here are some ideas for how to do this:
If you have the extra cash to spare, donating is a quick and straightforward way to make a real difference to change the world. Many charities will have a much easier time getting the things they need if they have money to spend quickly. What if you don’t have the cash to donate? Well, you can donate time and effort, or you can donate old but usable items that you have.
· Raise Money For Others
If you don’t personally have money to give out, you can assist in efforts or even organize events to raise money for good causes. Knowing how to market your money-raising efforts is essential, of course, but if you’re looking for a feasible way to make a difference, trying to raise that money is a good step.
· Volunteer Remotely
Can’t go to volunteer in person? Lots of organizations offer ways to volunteer remotely, from a distance. You’ll get to do virtual tasks for that organization from the comfort of your own home, and you’ll still be making a difference by helping that group to run more smoothly!
3. Be Kind To Others Every Day
Some people falsely believe that the only way to make a real difference is by going significant to massive scales. But that’s not the case! You can make a difference in the lives of those around you by performing acts of kindness or even just making an extra effort to be a good person to the people you run into every day. Here’s how!
· Retain Courtesy
Common courtesy should be a bare minimum, but it can be lacking in the fast-paced, Internet-focused world of today. Being compassionate and performing small good deeds is a great way to remain courteous. Hold the door open for someone with many bags, offer up your seat on the train to someone who needs it, and be openly appreciative of others! These are all great ways to stay courteous. And, of course, you never know what someone is going through, and performing respectful and kind gestures can help uplift them.
· Leave Kind Words
It’s easy to consume media and content without much thought, but don’t forget how good a creator may feel when you leave a kind comment for them. When watching YouTube videos, say something positive. When giving criticism to others, sandwich it with kindness and genuine praise. Devote some time every day to provide honest, compassionate statements to others from the heart, and you’ll make many people’s days brighter.
· Write Thank You Notes
In this modern, digital era, not everyone writes thank you notes anymore. But they’re a great way to provide tangible tokens of appreciation to the people in your life. Write these notes to friends, family, and loved ones, and also draft some simple “thank you”s for people who serve you every day, such as your usual barista, the mailman, or staff at your favorite place to shop. These simple acts of gratitude can go a long way, even if they’re only left online, say studies.
· Listen To People
Listening to others is one of the best gifts you can give to them in terms of kindness. It can be tempting to want to jump in and resolve problems for others, but many times, people want to talk and vent. When someone requests your open ear and a shoulder to cry on, put aside all judgment and desire to “fix” things. Instead, retain your positive thinking and focus on empathy. Showing someone you “get” them can help them feel seen and understood, which always makes a difference in someone’s life.
4. Share Your Own Story
You’ve lived an exciting life, endured hard times, healing from pain, and learned many lessons. The stories that you have to share could be valuable to those going through situations similar to your own. In some cases, that can even save their lives.
People want to feel hope. If you’ve been through suffering and have emerged stronger, wiser, and okay, you can inspire those who are currently suffering to keep pushing through without giving up. The details that you share can boost their positive thinking, especially details like:
- What it felt like to heal
- How your experiences have impacted you
- What mistakes you made
- What lessons you learned from your mistakes
- How much better you are now
- How the bad thoughts you had weren’t grounded in reality
- The ways with which you overcame adversity
You can share your story in a public way, such as through books, content creation, blogs, and more, but you can also talk about your experiences with those around you. As long as you’re not invalidating the struggles with others, sharing your story can help people feel better, learn, and overcome.
It is not always easy to share your story, and it can take a fair amount of bravery and require a good deal of willing vulnerability. But that effort and courage will be worthwhile when you see how your story can give people something to hold onto in trying times!
5. Start Small and Close
It is genuinely honorable to want to make a big difference globally, but striving for such lofty goals from the get-go may be overwhelming, and it may come with its fair share of mistakes. Practicing your methods of making a difference in small ways and gradually increasing your scope may be the best way to ensure positive results in your efforts. Here are some ways to do so:
Have you ever heard the saying that charity begins at home? According to research, this statement is very much true! Treating your family with kindness first can be a significantly important stepping stone forward into bigger charitable or philanthropic efforts. This includes extended family, too!
Your neighbors and local community are part of the “home” your charity can begin at, too. Help your disabled or elderly neighbors with chores and work. Bake or cook for people you see regularly. Be thoughtful and friendly. Look out for the people around you. It all matters in extraordinary ways, and though it seems small, making a difference with those closest to you is a big deal!
· Your Kids
We’ve already covered beginning kindness and making a difference with family, but there’s another way to do this that you may not have considered – by teaching your children to make a difference, too. Raising your kids to focus on selflessness and compassion makes a big difference in the world because you’re teaching future generations how to behave. When children learn the value of doing good deeds, they will carry on your lesson and legacy happily, continuing to make a difference in their own lives and ways!
· Local Businesses
It’s often tempting to go to big chains for groceries, daily items, and general shopping purposes. These big chains are convenient, have name-brand value, and can typically afford lower prices. But if you can afford it, supporting your local businesses can be an excellent way to make a difference in your community and help small entrepreneurs stay afloat. Don’t forget that the landscape of a community is often defined by its businesses!
Selfless good deeds should be sustainable to the groups they’re meant to benefit and should be performed intelligently! If you’re unsure where to begin, find a local cause that you’re passionate about and start there!