Make a Difference: Your Actions Count

Many of us have good ideas.  We want to make a difference, but the action needed seems too big and the ideas get tucked away. Then we feel frustrated, angry, and depressed because the problems did not get solved.   Taking action to make a difference is important.  With the many challenges before us, -- unemployment, declining resources, and the need to rebuild our local communities, we cannot wait for an expert’s solution or a leader’s permission to act.  Others may not know the situation as yourself.  Sometimes you know just what you have to do, and may have no other authority than the good intentions and caring in your heart.  You may not have the most perfect solution, still it is the best you can do.  You know you will experience setbacks and still need the confidence and courage to carry on?   What can you do?  Here are three tips.

1.     Align your actions with your character strengths.  Each of us has character strengths that reflect our deeper passions.  They are at the core of who we are and are so central to ourselves that ignoring them seems unnatural and very difficult. (see my January newsletter).  When you are in your strengths, it builds your confidence.  One way to identify your character strengths is to take the VIA survey.  It is no cost.  Then align your activities with your strengths.  It gives you the confidence and enthusiasm to stay on track to achieve your goals.

2.     Amplify you efforts with the support of others.  Creating change takes many different strategies, talents, and styles.  Take some time to identify what you really want to do, where you are strong, and where you can benefit from help.  Then find others who share a similar passion, and work together to achieve your goals. The combined power of strengths is far more productive than fixing your weakness.  When finding others, the internet can be a good start, but it does not have the same power and strength as communication with real people at the local level.  Find others in your local community with whom you share common interests.  Even just one person will do. New initiatives do not start alone.  They  build from support and bonds we have with others.

3.    Share your story.  Stories have power.  Often we hear statistics and information on the need to make a change, only to find it overwhelming.  Other times you may feel guilty for not doing anything.  When you take action and tell your story, it is important because it shows it CAN be done.  Even more it gives concrete ideas on HOW to do it. A personal story, I believe is more powerful than statistics, because it is more believable.  Even more, it inspires and fuels the actions of others.  We can readily see this in the protestors.  First, we hear the small group that met in England, then Egypt and the Mideast, and now in the United States.  When people take a stand for who we really are, it stimulates our conversation to search for the deeper truth.  All amplify our efforts for creating a better world.

To your success,

Dr. Alice