Starting Small

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My theme for the next couple of weeks is starting small! I’m going to write about this in 3 contexts. Over the weeks, I am going to find inspiring examples to explain this theme. Enjoy.

#1 changing the world

For a very long time I have been playing with the idea of how I would like to contribute to the world, to help make it hurt just a little less, and I was overwhelmed by how much was required to change it on the level my mind kept envisioning. I’m sure a lot of you out there are in the same boat, stuck on trying to achieve impossible changes at a very unrealistic pace, but I am going to share a realistic solution.

I recently heard inspiring ideas at a conference I attended a few weeks ago and was overwhelmed with how much there was to sink my teeth into in trying to effect change. I’m a very ‘hands-on’ person, who would rather go and help a cause as opposed to just contributing financially, so this was everything I was looking for and hopefully, people out there who are like me can be inspired too.

The conference talked about starting small in the sense that we can do everyday practical things in trying to effect change. One important thing I heard was that it’s just like responsibility; if you can be trusted with the little things then you can be trusted with the big things. Some people have this “I want to help now” complex and don’t know if a month, or year from then they would still be as passionate. It takes a lot more to effect the big change we sometimes dream about. It takes money, committed people and time to achieve them and some people don’t have the patience, time or resources to do it which is why starting small is the best recipe for the “I want to help now” people.

I heard this story about this woman who knits wool teddy bears for sick kids at hospitals – this contribution helps comfort those scared children, about to go through painful treatment or operations, feel loved. Another example was this little girl who felt so strongly about wanting to help that she got a job to raise money to be able to commit to sponsoring another child in a third world country. She, just like me, is the ‘hands-on’ sort who writes to the kids she sponsors to see how they are doing etc. Other examples included making packs of practical essentials for the homeless, knitting blankets for new born babies or the homeless amongst many other practical examples that were mentioned.

The challenge now is to think about what we can do – we need to find a gap and fill it. Starting with our local community where we live, how can we contribute to it? find like minded people and make your idea a reality. It doesn’t take a lot to impact changes in our world. When we start small and it is effective, we end up (hopefully) starting a precedent for others to be encouraged to also do, and in that way a wave of world changers would be born.

Pretty cool eh?

#2 changing your life

I have learned that when it comes to changing things in our lives that we consider ‘bad habits’, we need to recognise that it is not something that can be effected immediately, rather it is a process. The only thing that is immediate is strengthening our resolve to see those changes eventually materialise.

So, if you have been trying to change bad habits,  and you find yourself after a little while falling back into those same old habits, be comforted in the knowledge that you have been going about it with the wrong idea. If you approach it as a process, you would stop trying to transform yourself ‘over-night’. It’s just like people who change certain physical parts of their bodies to solve a problem that is essentially psychological, the success they hope to achieve, is often times temporary; the best fix would be to work on changing their mindset on how they see those parts they deem ‘problems’ before embarking on any type of physical change.

I have heard, and put into practice, solid advice that the best approach to working on changes, is to do it with support. We can try to find people who encourage our quest and be surrounded with people who bring out the best aspects of us. Trying to do it alone is often times futile, which is why a lot of people find themselves falling back into old habits.

#3 realising ambitions

It is the same with ambitions; we need to learn to be patient with attaining success. It is not always an instant occurrence. If we start by setting small goals whilst we journey to our destined successes, we would be a little happier with the progress we make. By this I mean, setting targets within our fields e.g. if you are into marketing, you can set a target figure for the amount of sales you want to achieve by the end of the week, month or year, regardless of the target set for you by your boss, employer etc.

In regard to other careers, you can set a target for the amount of applications you want to make, the amount of contacts you want to make, target grades etc.

The point is that we don’t discredit the importance of starting small. I’m sure most of the successful people we read about today, their success didn’t happen over a day;  they started with an idea, targets, which increased with each success till they reached where they currently are at. I am sure that even with the amount of success they enjoy that they are still setting targets for their businesses which they intend to reach.

Hope you are inspired.

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