How to change the World

So you want to change the world? Here’s a simple formula to do it: If you want to change the
world, start by changing each interaction you have with another person. That’s it. That’s all
you have to do. Be an example of the kind of person you would like to meet, and share that
person with the world one interaction at a time.

It’s harder than it sounds, because in order to change each interaction you have with another
person, you have to muster the positive energy and self-confidence to do that. For instance,
you may feel like taking your frustration out on the next person who brings you some bad
news simply because that person represents the company who caused a problem for you. But
what would happen if you summoned all of the positive energy you had at the moment, and
slowed your roll enough to tell the person on the phone that you know it’s not their fault that
the situation occurred and that you trust them to help you out. There are no guarantees in life,
but if you try that approach you might find out that with a little encouragement, the person
you’re dealing with becomes empowered and inspired enough to go the extra mile for you.

If that doesn’t sound too difficult, try a next-level technique and surprise someone. Let’s say
that you are walking down the street and someone is approaching you from the opposite
direction. Most people (and this probably includes you on most days) would avoid eye contact
until after they had passed the other person. The next time you’re walking down the street, do
the unexpected and see what happens if you give that stranger a smile with a kindly “Hello,”
making eye contact as you pass each other. Or try this: the next time you are confronted with
someone who is in an obvious bad mood, tell them that you sincerely hope the rest of the day
gets better for them and mean it when you say it. Watch as they transform into someone who
doesn’t feel as alone as they did just a second ago.

That’s the bottom line: paying attention to other people and tuning in to their emotions, even
just for a moment, changes the other person and in turn that changes the world. When you
show another human being that you care enough to recognize their existence, it has a
contagious effect. Little actions result in ripples of change – and each one makes the world a
slightly different place than it used to be. As people inspire each other to be a little kinder and
a little more thoughtful, the world becomes a better place to live for all of us.