How to change the world
It’s Saturday morning and I’m sat in my flat in Manchester.
Alice is opposite me, eating a vegan fruit scone with butter (vegan of course) and jam. She’s just returned from a meeting with a friend at Media City. She’s bursting with energy but not the sort you’d think. It’s the kind of understated vibrational energy that you can just feel. It suggests: “something big is coming”.
Something big is coming. Change is coming.
When I picked Alice up in the car she turned to me and said: “We’re not alone Lisa. There are more people out there just like us: people who want to change the world. We’re rising up and most people haven’t got a clue.”.
The statement made me want to cry. It reminded me a story Simon Sinek told in one of his talks. He said that if you want to meet a certain kind of person who likes what you like, you have to be open about what you like – you have to give off symbols people can recognise. If you’re into green hats…wear a green hat! What I took from his talk was that people go around wearing red hats because that’s what they think is expected of them and end up walking right past another green hatted person hiding behind a red hat. And they never meet! You can watch that talk here.
Alice went out wearing her metaphorical green hat today and had an amazing conversation. Then, she came home got out her lap top and started typing. This is part of her journey to change the world.
DARETOGROW is my green hat. This is who I am. I am here to change the world too: my world, your world, our world. But I can’t do it alone. I need your help. I need you to step into your power by uncovering your purpose, setting a compelling vision for your life and launching a movement around what you’re deeply passionate about.
Because you’re tempted aren’t you? That’s why you’re reading this blog. Why the title caught your attention. You’ve got an idea haven’t you, for changing the world? Maybe this will help…
How to change the world
1. Uncover your purpose
I talk about this a lot – it’s a founding principle of DARETOGROW. But how do you uncover your purpose? Where do you begin? Well you follow your bliss. You start by doing what you love, what you feel compelled to do. We all have an urge to do something: start this project, work on that, say this. But we cover it up with admin, tasks and obligations meaning we never get round to it.
Give yourself some time and space. Sit down in a quiet spot and ask yourself (1) What would I do with my life if money wasn’t a barrier? How would I give back? (2) What cause do I feel compelled to contribute to in the world? (3) What natural gift do I have to offer that I can use to help the world? (4) What did I love doing when I was younger? (5) What is my big passion? (6) What do I believe in so strongly that I’d risk being judged to express it?
The answers might come easily or they may not. Keep asking the questions.
A common misconception around ‘uncovering your purpose’ is that it’s some deep, buried secret. It’s not. You’ll already be living a life of purpose somehow, somewhere, on some small scale. It’s not a secret. Your purpose talks to you all the time. You’ve just got to listen.
A great book to read on purpose is ‘The Alchemist‘ by Paulo Coelho.
2. Set a compelling vision
If you don’t know where you’re heading, anywhere will do right?
An important step in changing the world is imagining what your new world looks like. It doesn’t matter if it seems impossible. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Just get a big sheet of paper or a notepad or a blank document and start listing what you see, hear, feel in this new world. What’s possible? What has changed? What has begun? What has stopped?
We’re not looking for perfection here. We’re just looking for compelling. Something that makes you want to work towards it. Something you can get other people excited about too.
My long term vision is a world where we don’t eat or test on animals, where everyone gets to make a living from their passions rather than work 9-5pm. It’s crazy to think it’s possible but it was once crazy to think it’s possible to break the four minute mile or light a room without a candle! Crazy things happen all the time but first you’ve got to imagine it’s possible.
You can read more about my short term vision for 2017 here.
3. Launch a movement
I’ve never really spoken about this on DARETOGROW but I think it’s the missing link. In order to change the world, we must empower others to act too. And this is what a movement is. It’s a group of people united by a common cause heading in a similar direction.
To do this well, you need three things: (1) a cause, (2) a platform, (3) a leader.
People want to move together. They want to contribute to something good but lots of people don’t know where to begin. You could be their starting point. Write your truth and put into words what other people are thinking. Provide a platform for people to gather on and let them build connections – it could be a Facebook group, an event or even a hashtag. Give people a way of talking about the key issues. Write articles. Make videos. Tell stories.
This doesn’t need to be perfect. When I first started DARETOGROW, I didn’t have a web site or a logo or anything really. I just started using the phrase ‘DARETOGROW’ on leaflets to promote coffee mornings in my marketing agency. It was so random at the time but looking back it all makes sense. It was the beginning.
Start where you are with what you have.
If you want more inspiration on this, check out Seth Godin’s book ‘Tribes‘. It’s a game changer!!
4. Build new habits
Changing the world is no mean feat! In fact, it’s a bloomin’ big job. The way to do it is one small action every day that builds into a consistent habit.
What makes DARETOGROW successful is that I write or produce content every single day. I never miss a day. Through this activity, my ideas evolve, my movement gains traction and I build stronger connections with my tribe. Not every blog is perfect and very rarely do the same people like multiple blogs in succession. Different ideas appeal to different people on different days. Part of building a movement is making sure I’m always here for people to come looking when they’re ready.
This new habit of mine – producing content every single day – is what I call my ‘cornerstone habit’. It’s the one habit that will make the biggest difference to my cause.
Your cornerstone habit might also be sharing content but it might be something completely different like meditating, planting seeds, talking to new people, organising events. What is the one thing, that if you did consistently, would give your movement traction and ultimately change the world?
5. Keep going
When beginning anything new, there will be more against you than for you. For example you might not have enough time, close family and friends might laugh at you and money could be tight.
When I launched DARETOGROW, I was £70k in debt and people laughed. They didn’t get it! It was a ridiculous notion that one woman from Newcastle could inspire thousands of people to grow, change their lives and change the world. But I’ve done it. One blog, one talk, one exercise at a time. And things are only just beginning.
And you can do it too. If you keep going. Every obstacle you hit is there for an important reason. You must find a way over, around or through because that is how you’ll grow for what comes next.
Need a helping hand?
I’m about to launch a free online course to guide you through this process. It’s a 6 day course and I’ll be sending you one 5 minute video every day for 6 days to share the key ideas and give you a process to follow to get moving.
If you’re interested, sign up below and I’ll tell you when it’s ready!