“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little”- Edmund Burke
How would you make your dent in the universe if you knew for certain you wouldn’t fail nor face any repercussions?
Would you become a writer? Start a business? Write a book? Would you start an Etsy shop sharing your creative skills? Perhaps you’d ask for that deserved promotion or go after that dream job? Fight for a cause you believe in? Pursue your music? Travel the world?
Odds are, it’s something completely opposite of what you are currently doing. For 27 years, I certainly wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I was being ‘realistic’ and ‘playing it safe’.
I didn’t give myself permission to go after what I wanted. I let self-doubt and fear rule my life. I kept waiting on a magical moment to arrive, which would grant me the power and ability to be bold with my life and make my mark on this world.
But as I found out, if you stay ‘realistic’, ‘play it safe’, and wait for the ‘perfect moment’—you’ll wait…and wait…and wait some more.
Deep within the souls of everyone, I believe lies an urge to share a unique superpower with the world that only that specific person can express.
However, this power, along with our health, plummets as we go through the daily grind of life. We become hopeless and fill our tanks with despair. We vicariously live through others story arcs. Our desires deactivate and we become robotic and numb.
We need to have hope again and allow the flames within to reignite. Hope alone won’t cause change in your life. You’ll need to become an active participant in your life.
Rebecca Solnit states, “Hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. Hope is an axe you break down doors with. Hope calls for action.”
Hope is a passive thought, but to make a dent in the universe—you need to take action.
What isn’t needed to make a dent in the universe
You don’t need buckets of money, a large following, fancy equipment, or come from royalty to make an impact. You don’t need to be Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Bono, or any other high ranking figure to make your mark.
Give your undivided attention, care, and love.
What’s needed to make a dent in the universe
To start making a dent in the universe, you need to have an idea of what you want to do. Here are four steps to get you started.
Understand you don’t have to accept the way things are. Your fitness and potential impact on others is in your hands. Take personal responsibility for your actions and stop blaming external situations for your problems. Nothing is impossible once you start seeing life through your own lens.
2. What will ignite a flame within you?
Before deciding on what you should do, decide on what you want to do. Don’t let your current situation play a part in limiting what you truly want. Don’t be afraid of being ambitious. If the majority of people think you’re crazy, odds are you’re on the correct trajectory to remarkability.
Have fun and don’t be afraid to join another cause if you don’t have a cause you want to start. The main goal at the end of the day is to create a positive impact on the world, no matter the path taken to accomplish this.
John-Paul Flintoff (author of How to Change the World), states there are “two ways to change the world—to decrease suffering or increase pleasure”. When making a dent in the universe and adding impact, consider your interests and skills, what will you be most effective at? What will come naturally to you?
“A good world is not one where everybody fixates on global problems according to some externally imposed framework of ‘importance’. A good world is one in which people find meaning in the particular things they do—and means a world that has a place for beauty, creativity, and play” states Flintoff.
3. Take that small but crucial first step
You’re aware that something needs changing. You recognize the desire within to make your impact felt, now comes the hardest part—doing something.
The burden of this mission might feel enormous. You might have difficulty seeing the finish line due to the hurdles and blockades along the trail. It’s easy to say, “I’m only one person out of billions, what exactly can do I possibly do?” Take solace in knowing that all movements and organizations started with one brave soul.
After dealing with painful experiences and things that frustrate us (jobs, body, life, locations,etc)—we’ve lost our hope. Know that you aren’t powerless. Even the smallest of actions has the potential to inspire others.
A great example brought up by Flintoff, is the use of the ‘chaos theory’. An example of this theory in action is one where a butterfly flaps its wings in one country and helps cause a tornado in another. One small step has the potential to cause a big effect.
This applies to fitness. Just showing up and committing to the gym 3 times a week will cause ripples in your life (hello improved confidence, body, and everything else).
4. What you need (your most valuable asset)
When it’s time to tackle a new venture—we play the asset game. We’ll list our skills, hobbies, talents, and devise a legendary game plan for how we are going to succeed. But, all this work doesn’t serve any value unless you change your perspective.
It’s your ‘perspective’ that is essential for being remarkable, succeeding with your health & wellness, and for making a dent in the universe.
Once you change your perspective, you’ll realize that it’s time, not the resources that need changing. What are you doing with your time (we all operate under the same 24 hours)?
It’s the way you see the resources around you that need changing. Perspective is powerful, you have exactly what you need to make a change—it’s up to you to use the resources optimally.
Make a commitment and prepare for the naysayers & obstacles
Sometimes our best efforts will have unintended consequences and may even be harmful at times. Sometimes what we venture out to change won’t be completely fixable. It’s important to realize that you can’t fix everything.
Some of your friends and family might not agree with your decisions. You’ll hear lots of chatter for following the road less traveled. They might not accept you. Some friendships will die. This is normal and part of the repercussions of striving to be remarkable and level up your life.
Know that as you strive for remarkability, small steps equal mini victories. Mini victories accumulate into large successes and 6 months down the road—you’re living a life that was once a dream.
How do you plan to make a dent in the universe
We all have a unique superpower (aka gift) that we can share with the world. Some are painters, musicians, artist, world class chefs, world class baristas, innovative teachers, progressive doctors, writers, forward thinking managers—the options are plentiful.
Your impact can be felt through any measure—it’s a choose your own adventure. No matter the size or scope of the operation, every little step counts.
It’s your turn to make a declaration.
How do you plan to make a dent in the universe? What keeps you up at night? What bugs you each day? What have you always wanted to do, but have been waiting for that “perfect” moment to start?