You have a mind-bogglingly huge potential to make an impact on the world. I know this, beyond a shadow of a doubt, even if we have never met and I have no clue who you are.
How do I know? Because everybody does. And the vast majority of us are leaving much (most, even!) of that potential untouched. One way we block it is letting our ego get in the way (but not in the way you probably think).
The “I’m Only One” Trap
When we look at all the things that need fixing in this world, it’s easy to throw our hands up and say, “What’s the point? One person can’t change the world.” I call that the “I’m Only One” Trap.
If you ever find yourself saying that, ask yourself, “Why am I letting my ego call the shots here?” Because when we fall into the trap of feeling like our own efforts are too insignificant to make a difference, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
It might sound reasonable on the surface. “Seriously, the problems facing the world are so immense – what can one person possibly do?” But if you look at the underlying meaning there, it’s really, “If I can’t be omnipotent, why bother?” The ego is somehow saying, “I can’t just be part of the solution. I have to be the force behind the solution. And if I can’t, I’m going to take my bat and ball and go home.”
Put that way, the ridiculousness shines brightly, but it’s really not so different than a forlorn, “What can one person do?”
Ask, “What can I do?”
Try this: When you look at the big problems the world is facing and feel tempted to throw your hands up in despair, try turning that into a starting point. “OK, I can’t solve world hunger myself. What can I do?” Use hunger as a frame for brainstorming. Ask, “What are all the possible ways I could make a difference that have some impact on hunger?” Then go back and look for what’s within reach.
Give the notion that you have to solve the world’s problems the heave-ho. You’re never going to. No one individual will. Instead, look for human-sized opportunities to make a difference. Then start making it!
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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