How To Change The World

Can you imagine if there was a college course called “How to change the world“? I’m sure it would be PACKED!  Afterall, who hasn’t thought about changing the world at some point, especially during our college years.

But what happened along the way to those ideas? It seems like at some point we stopped dreaming, got distracted, or didn’t believe we could make an impact.

Or maybe some of us experienced what the former heavyweight champ, turned philosopher, Mike Tyson described when he said,

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Somewhere in between paying student loans, getting married, and a mortgage many of us settled for a different reality.  It’s a reality based more on false limitations we created based on social conditioning. 

 This reminds me of Les Brown‘s quote when he said,

“Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.”

Whatever the reason, I could write a long post filled with bullet points on how to change the world based on stuff great leaders have done. But instead, let’s keep it short and sweet because it’s  7:30 AM and my kids are about to wake up.  

I’ll leave you with this poem I recently found that captures the essence of my upcoming book and this idea of “How to change the world.”

I first heard this quote from Dan Miller on his 48 Days podcast.  He said he saw it written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in London, England.

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But, it too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. 

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”

Create Something That Matters

It’s so easy to be a critic.

It’s so easy to sit in the stands and comment on sports or movies.

It’s so easy to criticize.

It’s tempting to be a critic, but do we really need more? When was the last time a critic or commentator created something that mattered?

Instead, the world needs more people willing to push themselves in order to create stuff that matters.

But creating stuff that matters means you’ll have to take risks. It means you might fail, be embarrassed, make mistakes or all three AT THE SAME TIME.

I realized, though, that the reason why so few of us want to create stuff that matters is not because of the possibility of failure, embarrassment, or choking.

It’s connected to public speaking.

Say what?

Let me explain…

When reviewing lists of top fears people have, public speaking is always on the list.   It’s even scarier than zombies, the dark, and scary clowns!  But seriously,  it’s not the speaking we’re scared of, it’s the fear of failing publicly or getting our ego hurt that we’re scared of the most.

But why do we care so much about what others think?

I was speaking Amanda Truscott from Creative Unblocking about creativity recently. And one of the things I explained was that I’m motivated to create by fact that I am going to die one day. Knowing that my death can come at any minute motivates me to create stuff that matters to me without worrying too much about what people think.

Why should you care about what critics think? The people that matter the most to me are those who will go to my funeral or cry when I die.

You were born to be a creator and not a consumer. Create something that matters to you regardless of how big, scary, or challenging it is. It’s your mission and no one else’s. It’s not supposed to make sense to others; it’s yours.

Create a great family.

Create a great company.

Create a great working environment.

Create a charity. 

Create beautiful art.

It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it matters to you and it makes a positive impact. 

Just create.

The only thing you have to focus on now is the next step. What would you create if you couldn’t fail and didn’t have to worry about protecting your ego?

Simple But Hard Advice I Received From A CEO

Asking for advice is a great tool, but you have to know how and when to do it. Once I was at a party and decided to start a conversation with a guy sitting next to me. It turns out he’s the CEO for a major airport.

I didn’t even know airports had CEOs, so I learned something right from the beginning of this conversation!

Anyways, so we chatted for a bit but before leaving, I asked him if he could share one piece of advice. I said,

“You’ve obviously been successful in your career. What’s one piece of career advice you can share with me that has helped you get to where you are today?”

I love asking this question because most people are eager to share what they’ve learned and it makes people stop to reflect for a few seconds and that’s when you make a connection.

That question also makes people feel special, which is crucial in the connection process. But for some reason, I was expecting him to say something really deep and profound. Instead, he said,

“Always do the right thing because you’ll never have to worry about what you did. And you’ll always be able to sleep well at night.”

Most of the time we expect that the biggest life changing stuff will come from radically new ways of doing things or new information that will completely blow our mind, but leadership is based on small principles that build up like a snowball when practiced constantly. 

What I love about principles is that they are timeless and create a level playing field because they’re available to anyone willing to implement them. You don’t need a degree, wealth, or connections to do the right thing. But it means that you have to be willing to do hard things like having integrity.

What I’ve noticed in my leadership journey is that doing the hard thing is a theme that keeps coming up. It’s a simple choice, but impact shows if you’re leading or not.

Are you doing the right thing when you have the chance?

That Moment When You Wake Up

Major props for Akon for reaching this milestone in life and for using his platform for social good. 

Akon talks about giving up his Lamborghinis and flashy jewelry, and helping villages in Africa get electricity.

Posted by Virgin Radio Dubai on Saturday, November 5, 2016