We live in society and every action, word or thought has a consequence on our lives and on other people’s life. Even if we do not realize it, we always make a difference. So the question to ask is not if I want to make a difference or not, but what kind of difference do I want to make? What kind of legacy do I want to leave the world?
We were born to help. We are not here just to consume resources, eat, breath, take up space. We are here to make a difference through our lives. “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve” wrote Albert Schweitzer.
The most urgent question of life is: "What are you doing for the others?" When we allow ourselves to appreciate the fact that we are alive and begin to see the beauty that surrounds us, it is natural to feel the need to give back, to say thank you in some way to life (or God or the Universe). And each of us is called to take this step, not only the great leaders of the past. Here are 6 ways to make a big difference in your life.
Travel broadens the mind, makes us discover new sides of ourselves, makes us meet new people, and see things from another point of view. You don’t need to take a year off and go to the other side of the world. You can just take your camera and go for a ride in the place where you were born and raised. You will discover the hidden treasures of that place. Travelling gives us a sense of freedom and adventure. Sometimes getting lost in a place is just the way to find ourselves.
As pointed out by Louise Hay, creativity is an expression of the divine part within us. Let the creativity flow and create something with your hands, your words or your actions. Art can be a painting, a photograph, a sculpture, a poem, a dance, a dress. Do not put limits and do not judge what you can do!
Teaching others what we know is a way to make a big difference in the lives of those people. Passing our knowledge makes us feel useful, and brings us a sense of satisfaction and self-realization. It gives meaning to our lives and connects us more deeply with others. Getting to self-realization is the instinctive need of human beings to expand their abilities and strive to be the best they can be. It’s that little voice that leads us to give 100% and try our best, to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, to give our contribution to the world. This level includes everything that makes us evolve, discover our uniqueness, embody our spiritual qualities, develop a sense of self-efficacy, help others, and realize our identity and our life purpose.
When we dedicate ourselves to a cause greater than us, we shift the focus of attention from ourselves and our lives (and our thoughts of scarcity, “if only I had a relationship / that job / that house, etc.”). Giving our attention to others makes our ego freak out. Helping an elderly neighbour with errands, talking to those who are alone, spending some time in a dog shelter, offering to babysit friends' children are all ways in which we can help others. What did you give to other people today?
Reading is the food of the soul and mind. It is a way to travel without moving, it offers us new food for thought and discussion, it takes the conversations with our friends to the next level. Reading biographies of people you admire can also be a great way to gain new ideas and getting inspired.
Being a good listener is a quality that can make a difference in our lives and someone else’s life. When we listen carefully to the voice of our heart, we can figure out what is the right decision to make. We connect with our higher self, our essence and align ourselves with what makes us truly happy. Knowing how to actively listen to another person and try to enter her/his world, it is a great help for them too. Sometimes, we just need to give voice to our thoughts, have someone who listens to us, to find the answer we were looking for.