Change the World

The world changes one person at a time. Furthermore, the change one person makes affects others around him. If they are inspired to change, each of those people will influence those they know and before long we’re all friends on Facebook. That may be an attempt at a joke, but what is serious is the positive affect one person can have on the world. If you don’t believe one person can make a difference, answer these:

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name last year’s Time Magazine Person of The Year.
  3. Name five Academy Award winners from last year.
  4. Name the last Olympic Gold medalist in any sport.

No matter how well you did answering these questions, chances are these people had some influence in your life. You probably use Microsoft products, whether you want to or not, thanks to Bill Gates. Another technological innovator, Mark Zuckerberg (Time’s Person of The Year for 2010), might be your Facebook friend. The winner of the Best Actor Oscar, Colin Firth’s performance in “The King’s Speech” may have awed you as much as Usain Bolt’s gold medal performance in the last Summer Olympics.

  1. Name three teachers who inspired you in school.
  2. Name three people who have helped you through a tough time in your life.
  3. Name three people who have made you feel worthwhile.
  4. Name someone who has taught you a life lesson.

Even if you consider this a trite exercise, it relays the importance of the personal relationships you have in your life. My challenge to you is to turn the latter four questions around and ask yourself, who you have inspired, or comforted or uplifted or taught. You might be surprised at the impact you’ve had on changing the world…or at least your little corner of it.

These questions are borrowed from The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

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