“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke (1729-1797); Statesman, Author, Philosopher
Sometimes it’s hard to even to care about ways to make a difference.
I’ll speak for myself. Once I’m done working, caring for family needs, and taking care of daily activities, I’m wiped out!
Perceived lack of time, fatigue, emotional burnout all conspire to hold me back from getting beyond myself.
I thank those around me who touch my life and inspire me to be a fool who believes he can change the world.
1. Take Care of Yourself
It may seem selfish, but taking care of yourself is the best place to start.
Slow down. Exercise. Eat right. Get personal counseling for emotional roadblocks that drain your energy. Connect with God. Go on a vacation.
2. Make Caring A Priority
It’s hard to make a difference if you don’t believe you can. Or if you don’t think it’s worth it.
Examine your values. Do you value some sort of contribution to others? If not, consider adding Contribution to your list of values.
We value another person when we listen to them. It makes a world of difference when we feel someone truly cares enough about us to hear what we have to say.
Here are some tips from MindTools to help you improve your listening skills. (no affiliate stuff here 🙂
When you smile at someone, you send the message that they count. And that can mean a lot when that person feels worthless.
5. Have Someone Over
I live near Chicago, Illinois. Maybe it’s just me, but life with my wife and two kids is busy.
Taking time out of busyness sends the message to others that we care. And that can make a big difference.
Consider not only having friends over. But what about a person who doesn’t get out much? Who may be lonely?
As a Christian, I believe prayer makes a huge difference. You can use the ACTS acrostic to help you pray: Adore your Creator; Confess your shortcomings; Thank Him for His blessings; and engage in Supplication (Asking) for Him to give hope, help, and healing to people in your life and around the world.
7. Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
When we spend quality time with others, we communicate our love to them. Steal time from your schedule by blocking out “appointments” with the loved ones in your life. Make those appointments first, and let the rest of life fall around those appointments.
Give money to a worthy cause. Make sure that the organization you’re giving to is accountable to its donors. Here’s a list of Better Business Bureau charities in the United States you can give to. When I give to Christian organizations, I make sure that they’re listed under the Evangelical Center for Financial Accountability, an independent organization that ensures ethical and transparent financial reporting.
I Corinthians 13 teaches us what love looks like:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Keep this Scripture written out in front of you every day so that you can check and apply it with everyone you come across.
Reach out to family members. Take care of your in-laws. Call your parents. Or call your children. How can you serve them? How can you communicate love to them?
Who, in your online or offline world, can you help along? Maybe it’s teaching them a little of what you’ve learned in your business journey, expecting nothing in return.
Kimberly Castleberry, from Just Ask Kim, serves the online Biz Blogging Buzz community in countless selfless ways. She’s a technical and tribal building guru, yet she takes time to help many, many people while asking nothing in return.
I know of another couple who both have high responsibility jobs. They head up a kids’ program at church, lead a separate kids’ program in the community, and mentor a group of people from their church! On top of all this, they give generously to others financially, expecting nothing in return.
They are making a difference!
12. Pick One Cause
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Just pick one of the ways to make a difference above. Practice those things.
After some time, you’ll want to check out another cause you resonate with. Causes.com is a good place to explore a variety of topics. And Time has shown us new ways we can make a difference with very little effort.
13. Think Bigger
Once you start helping people, you may want to think about more systemic solutions to poverty, hunger, and disease. Some say social entrepreneurs need to stop throwing starfish into the ocean. They’re right, in a sense.
14. Become Your Best Self
It all circles back to you and me. Have you discovered your life vision, mission, values, and goals? Are you working toward excellence and personal growth daily?
Your world needs what only you can offer. You were created to do great things in the service of others.
For example, here’s an engineer who’s making a car for blind drivers!Every one of us can make a difference. Don’t believe the lie that you are too small or insignificant. Bloom where you’re planted, develop your abilities and opportunities, and become a blessing to others. How do you choose to make a difference this week? photo credit: Create Change Now