Six Ways to Make a Change in Your World

change in your world

We want to have an impact. We want our lives to touch other people. We want our work to endure. We want the world to be a better place because of our presence in it.

But in the day-to-day rush of life, it’s easy to think that “changing the world” is an unachievable huge, even arrogant, goal.

In a world of seven billion people, we can feel very small.

Today, let’s shift the focus slightly. Instead of changing the world, let’s look at changing your world.

Here are six simple things to try. Don’t dismiss them as “too small” – they could have more impact than you’ll even know.

1. Say “Thank You” More Often

At work and at home, make it a habit to say “thank you” regularly. A genuine thanks can mean a lot to an employee who’s gone the extra mile, and it can strengthen relationships with your family.

Your “thank you” can be very simple:

Thanks for sorting out the train tickets – I really appreciated it.

Thanks for making dinner – that was delicious!

Thanks for doing the dishes.

You could also take it further: a thank-you note, or even a small gift, can make a huge impact.

2. Offer Encouragement

The people around you – friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members – all have their own goals and dreams in life. Take every opportunity you can to encourage them.

Many people don’t get much support from their loved ones. Perhaps you’ve got a nephew whose parents don’t see the point of college, but he’s keen to study medicine. Maybe you’ve got a friend who’s trying really hard to lose weight, but her colleagues aren’t at all supportive. Your encouragement and your belief in them could mean a huge amount.

3. Learn to Listen

Are you a good listener? Most of us aren’t: we talk over other people, we interrupt, we nod along while daydreaming, we don’t hear what they’re saying because we’re too busy thinking what we want to say…

Practice listening – really listening – when someone’s having a conversation with you. That might mean putting down the paper and looking at your kids and partner when they’re talking. It might mean asking questions to encourage a friend to dig deeper into their own thoughts and feelings.

4. Help Someone Out

Look out for opportunities to lend a hand. That might be with something incredibly small – like holding a door open, or taking in a package for a neighbor. It might be something more significant – like babysitting a friend’s kids so she can have a much-needed break.

The help you provide might not seem like a big deal in itself – but the kindness behind it can really have an impact.

5. Give Away Unwanted Possessions

Is your house a bit cluttered? Do you have old computers, games, books, furniture, exercise equipment or anything else that you don’t need?

Give it away. You’ll clear up space in your home, and you’ll make a difference to someone else. Look for friends or colleagues who’d really appreciate it. You might also try local charity shops, or your local Freecycle group.

6. Share Your Time

Time is one of the most precious resources we have. Sharing your time is one of the best ways to impact your world.

That might mean playing with your kids instead of taking work home at the weekend. It might mean volunteering. It might mean spending time with family and friends instead of simply being in the same room as them: switching off the television and doing something together.

The world might seem too big to change – but your own world isn’t. How could you start making a difference today? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments…

Photo by A6U571N

change in your world

Recommended Resources

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? The following are some of our favorite resources:

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Best Books to Change Life – recommended books on everything related to personal change and growth. The selection is a mix of time-tested classics and more recent bestsellers. Click here to see our Recommended Reading list.

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19 thoughts on “Six Ways to Make a Change in Your World”

  1. I have done most of the things that you suggested here Ali. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. I second getting rid of unwanted possessions. They take up too much space and don’t leave any room for new things to come our way.

    1. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments — glad that this resonated. As Brooke says, it’s easy to think that some of these things are “nothing” — but they can make such a big difference (even if we don’t realise it).

  2. These 6 feature within my 365 ways to change your life in my upcoming new book: ‘How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time’. Excellent blog post. Keep it up my friend. To change the world first change yourself – great message. Stu :)

  3. Once again, just beautiful, and what I needed. Peter, I told you a little about me, some bad stuff – however, after 3 weeks of trying and using the blog, and stopping Celexa- – – – well, I was offered a seasonal position with my most favorite and highest paying job !! WOW – Thank you Peter for sharing your story. I am happy, and so glad to be in recovery/

  4. Fantastic… just wonderful. I think too many people are focused on the large scale and getting frustrated by what they can’t do. I’ve been doing much of the above for a while, which has made me feel empowered rather than stuck. And, you’re right–most people will think that listening, or the extra “thank you”s, are nothing–but it’s amazing how both of these courtesies, once commonplace, have grown more and more scarce.

    Thanks, Ali!

  5. Totally agree. The art of giving goes a long way. They say whenever you are stuck in life find a way to give unconditionally to someone in need. To value yourself is it value your time and allowance of helping others. I also follow the above suggestions which for certain give me great feelings of contribution. The more opportunity we allow to contribute the more we feel that we are part of a world which needs us. Nothing is more empowering. Thank you ;)

  6. Have been trying for the past six months or so to make other people a higher priority than myself. It doesn’t come naturally. Without ever really writing anything down or being overly intentional about it, I’ve been doing several of the six things on this list, and they really do work in amazing ways. Many thanks for pulling these tips into one comprehensive list – will make it easier to stay focused on them in the months ahead.

  7. Each of these is so very important. I do most of them everyday. As for giving away unwanted possessions, that’s something that I find so liberating. When my home is clogged with “stuff,” so is my mind. And that’s just not an option anymore.

  8. I love your suggestions…it really is about changing the internal and the external cannot remain the same.

    Your point about gratitude is a good one. saying “thank you” and feeling gratitude releases all sorts of resistance within us. It frees us to allow all sorts of wonderful things to flow into our experience.

  9. I agree that when someone wants to change the world, it seems like a daunting task. One phrase that I always remember when thinking about how we change the world comes from the movie Evan Almighty. The questions was asked, “How do we change the world?” and the answer was “One act of random kindness at a time.” With everything going on, life can be overwhelming at times. But as detailed in the quote above, when you take one thing at a time, everything becomes much easier.

  10. Every month or so, I collect some stuff in my home that I know I didn’t use for a while : an old (but still good) t-shirt, a pair of shoes, a screwdriver!

    “For it is in giving that we receive.” Francis of Assisi

  11. If we look at ants, how they are purpose driven and achieve impossible things by thinking big and working together. If only human beings were so clever!!!!

    Liked your post very much and the comments that followed.

  12. Lovely! Some simple things we can do to take the focus off ourselves and make things better. Thank you is one of my favorite phrases. It infuses gratitude into the simplest interactions.

  13. Change is the rule of the world. Everybody wants to have some positive changes in surrounding environment. Here are some beautiful tips shared through this post with the help of which you can have some positive changes. Thanks for doing this.

  14. The overall point in changing your world is to be of service to others. Every single one of the things you pointed out has to do with what you can do for someone else. That’s beautiful. It shows that if you truly want to live a full and rewarding life then helping others is the way to go.

  15. Great article. It really pinpoints what should be very obvious things we should be doing every day. I too adopted these points a few years ago and my life is completely different to what it used to be. I am genuinely happy! Just by making small changes, our world too can change.

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