How to Change the World With One Simple Question

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Have you ever wished that you could change the world in some way? This probably sounds like doing something big to you. Something so big that it scares you. Something that’s likely too out of reach for the average person.

I know, I know; the title of this post promises you quite a tall order. It may seem hard to believe that asking yourself one little question every day could make any difference in the world, but it’s absolutely true, and I’ll elaborate more on how below.

I was inspired by fellow Life Coach Travis Barton’s amazing post here to elaborate on an important topic. You may have heard this question before: If you were to attend your own funeral as a spectator, what would it look like?

While many of us might try to dodge the question, or answer with something short and simple like, “My family and friends would be there.” As much as we don’t want to admit it, because thinking too long about the day we die is kind of depressing, this question deserves far more thought than that.

Yeah, they’d be there. But what would they have to say about you? Think about it some more. Would they be able to say that you impacted their lives in any way? Hopefully, they would have plenty of reasons for why you’ll be missed.

I know, I know. This seems like such a daunting question. You may even be reading this, thinking to yourself, “Wow, uh, I’m reeeally not ready to answer that. I don’t think there’s anything I can do right now to change the world.”

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A beautiful quote from the brilliant mind of Vincent Van Gogh.

I’m here to let you know… that’s not at all true. Regardless of what phase you feel that you’re in, and in spite of how limiting your current circumstances may or may not seem, there is always a way to change the world.

So many people get scared that they have to do something extreme or drastic to change the world. When we think about how to change the world, we naturally tend to lean toward the extreme.

We immediately recall some of the most influential people we can think of. Let’s take Bill Gates, for example. He’s been hard at work investing his ingenuity and money into the battle against Malaria in Africa. Wow.

When we start to compare our current selves with someone like that, we often believe that it’s just too hard. We’re so quick to sell ourselves short, that we shoot down the inspiration just as quickly as it enters our minds.

“I don’t have the kind of money or resources that he does to do something that matters,” we think to ourselves. This is the kind of limiting belief that can keep a person from even changing themselves.

So, why do you feel like you could never change the world?
The problem here is a combination of things…
  1. We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.
    This is an unfair comparison that we do to ourselves on a variety of subjects, like our level of financial success, our physical fitness, and our relationships.
  2. When we think big, we tend to forget the little things along the way.
    When we dream big, sometimes we ignore the changes we can make in the here and the now. Keep reading, and I’ll explain below about what you can do today.
  3. We’re afraid to create the habit of hard work.
    We tell ourselves things like, “I don’t have time”, “I’m already so busy”, or “I can’t afford it” to justify seeking comfort and avoiding pain. You’ve likely heard of the term ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ to refer to hard work before… doesn’t sound too inviting, does it?

    We call them ‘reasons’, because they look and feel so much like real reasons. They’re actually just excuses in disguise, which I like to call “Rational lies”. You can read more about this dangerous self-imposed mind trickery here: Overcoming Fear and Worry

What so many of us fail to realize is that we don’t have to be Bill Gates to go out with a bang, having impacted the lives of others and made a difference in the world.

If you actually want to align yourself with the likes of him someday, more power to you, and I encourage you to do so. If you want to know where to start with pursuing such a big goal, I’d recommend reading more about this here: Goal Setting

The purpose of this article is to show you that even if you aren’t a billionaire right this second, you can still change the world. Yes, right now!

There is one question we can constantly ask ourselves throughout the typical day that will undoubtedly help us live more consciously, and ultimately, leave the world with having changed someone’s life:

“How can I give love today?”

To see how this is relevant to you now, let’s start by taking a brief trip back in time, but let’s look at just yesterday. Play it through your mind in detail that’s as vivid as you can possibly remember. Think about all of the interactions that you had.

(P.S., if you can barely remember any of your interactions because you were so busy… That’s a pretty telling sign right there that you were stuck in the doing rather than in the being. If your mind is clouded by being busy, then you likely haven’t left any room for giving love of any kind.)

Did you kneel to your child’s level and look her in the eyes when she asked for no more than a moment of your time, or did you brush her off and tell her, “I’m busy right now”? How often do you do that?

Do you give love in the form of devoting just 5 minutes of your time and attention?

Were you too consumed in your own life to address the overworked, tired, and depressed barista by his name? Did you thank him with a smile, or did you take it and shuffle away with your eyes glued to your phone? Have you ever taken that tiny five minute chunk of each day that you buy coffee to get to know him just a little better?

Do you give love in the form of taking an interest in someone, and pulling them outside of their darkness for just a moment?

If you make an effort to find ways to give love each and every day, you will build stronger, deeper relationships with everyone you’ve ever known. You will have impacted their lives by making them feel like they’re a part of yours, and that they matter!

Today still has time left. Tomorrow is a brand new day, too. Go ahead, ask yourself that question… “Have I given love today? How can I?”