with 7.5 billion people on this planet, we often feel like it is impossible for anyone of us can make a difference. When something comes up that requires action, we think: “I’m only one person, What could I do anyway?”. So instead of jumping right in, we wait for others to make the first move if anyone else is willing to take the effort to start.
But what if we just tried, what if we shed our fears and inhibitions, what if others with the same feelings did as well? What if we challenged each other to stand up and to stand together as one and each of us made a difference of their own? Or better yet, what if enough people stepped forward and accepted this challenge as well? The truth is, there is only one person needed to start a chain reaction. Like Steve Jobs said: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”.
The butterfly and the hurricane
Ever heard about the Chaos Theory? An example of the influence that initial values can have is the anecdote of ‘the butterfly and the hurricane’ effect. Our weather forecasts come from the solution of systems linked differential equations. Of these types of systems often no exact solutions are known, but the numerical calculation is possible. In practical terms, this means that we can calculate tomorrow’s data with today’s weather data.
Edward Lorenz demonstrated in the 1950s that linked differential equations can be unstable. This means that errors in the numerical calculation will increase over time. If today, for example, the temperature is wrongly measured at 0.1 ° C, the deviation from the weather forecast for tomorrow is already 0.5 ° C. In a week’s time we will be 3.1 ° C and no meaningful forecast can be made for over two weeks. Anecdotally, it is said that the wing beat of a butterfly in China can be the deciding factor, in Kansas, between good weather and a hurricane.
You can make a difference
Are you still not convinced that you can make a difference? Like we talked about in a previous post, when we do an act of human generosity this will release a dose of oxytocin to the person who does the act and the person on the receiving end. Oxytocin ensures that the more we have of it the more we like to do an act of human generosity which in turns gives us even more oxytocin, and it feels good, to have lots of oxytocin feels good. It also inhibits addiction, it increases our ability to solve problems, and it increases our creativity so oxytocin is actually good for us. so this means that if you do an act of human generosity, you and the other person are more likely to do more acts of human generosities in the future. which will make the world a better place one good deed at a time.
Dreams, Unlike Eggs, Don’t Hatch from Sitting on Them
Let all the toxic people complain up a storm, let the naysayers say that it can’t be done. The truth is, you can’t (or should I say, won’t) make a difference if you don’t try. Here are four guidelines to keep in mind:
Believe. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, to be who you are and to stand for what you believe, to stand for your why, even if that means standing alone. It only takes one to change the world.
Act. A wise man once said: “weak people dream of their opportunities, strong people wait for their opportunities and act upon them, and wise people create their own opportunities”.
Lead. Be the change that you want to see in the world. Don’t just talk a good game. Lead the way.
Transform. Throw a pebble into the water and create ripples. Little wins create momentum; consistency can turn into lasting change
Don’t Look to Others; Look to Yourself
Think what would happen if everyone shouted out their window at the same time. The sound would be unnerving. Now think of the impact that we could have if we collectively made someone feel special, mentored a colleague, or helped a person in need. The impact would be astounding.
There is power in numbers. One person can get things started; a second person can create some momentum; a third person may influence others to join in. And, before you know it, you’ve created a movement.
The world is changing every day. If enough people create a ripple for change, we can create a better future. Your choice complains about all the things that are wrong or be the person who helps to make them right. One person can make all the difference. And that one person is YOU!