If You Want To Change The World, Start With Yourself First

Attend To Your Own Personal Development

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”—Leo Tolstoy

The American speaker John C. Maxwell once said: “Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves.” Everyone has an opinion on what is wrong with the world, yet few people are willing to do the work to improve their own lives. It is easy to draw attention to what is wrong in the world because it is frustrating to stand back while they take place. I often remind myself and others, the world has existed for 4.54 billion years and is older and wiser than us. We have existed for a blip in that timeline and conditions weren’t always ideal, in fact history shows conditions were less than idyllic.

So, a Utopian paradise needn’t exist for us to be happy. We can still thrive despite the unrest in the world because outside conditions aren’t as bad as we think. If you want to change reality, start with yourself and attend to your own personal development. In doing so, problems give way to solutions and no longer affect you. Everything taking place in your life and the world around you results from consciousness. If I hate something or someone, I energise it with negative energy; it is bound to show up in some form or another. I cannot predict how and when my reality will bring it into existence, but I can change my thoughts before it shows up.

Raise Your Level Of Consciousness

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” — Mother Teresa

Most people are frustrated with circumstances beyond their control. They believe if they can control these situations, they will be happy. Sometimes, it is not possible, since there are too many things to control. It requires redesigning our life to suit us, or playing God, neither of which is possible. It is simpler to attend to our own personal development. So, when we feel frustrated, angry or other disempowering states, we ought to become curious and work on the part of us at war with reality. Are you satisfied with this idea that change is an inside-out job? I realise you have been taught another way but honestly, do you want to go through life changing this and that, every time something is broken or not to your liking? It makes little sense to go about living this way, when you have the power and the key to change your thoughts about it.

It is futile trying to change conditions out there because life is constantly changing. It is like trying to keep plates spinning on a stick, while I add more plates to the stack. It is difficult to keep up and they eventually come crashing down. It makes sense to work on ourselves, so outside conditions no longer affect us, as they once did. This is the key to enlightenment, raising our level of consciousness so we transcend problems with a higher awareness. Albert Einstein recognised this principle when he said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Consider the following example, highlighting why we must attend to our own personal growth if you want to change the world. Imagine 100 people constantly complaining about the state of the world. One day they decide they’ve had enough and undertake personal development to change their lives. Within months, they’ve stop whining and begin to embrace life as it is, instead of being mired in their problems. They begin to act from a place of love, peace and joy. 

You’ve heard it said: you are the sum of the five people you most associate with. Therefore, if 100 people can influence five others, we now have 500 people more self-aware than before. If that cycle continues, a tipping point will occur, so anger and fear no longer prevail. Now, I am not that naïve and know this Utopian reality will not miraculously emerge overnight, if at all within the coming decade. Yet, undertaking personal development will not only help us, but influence those around us. I have seen evidence of this with my family and friends and those I’ve coached over the years. We change the world not by pointing out what is wrong with it, but by upgrading our model of reality, to coincide with what we wish to see in the world. As I said earlier and begs repeating: It’s an inside-out job.

Upgrade Your Model Of Reality

“You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.”―Woodrow Wilson

Dr Wayne Dyer, a well-known self-help author, said: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” He knew change must first take place from within and has a ripple effect in the lives of others. If that change is powerful enough, it will gather momentum to affect all of humanity. I admit, it is difficult to focus on what is right in the world when we are ruled by our internal state. The media adds to the negativity by reporting bad news to promote fear, and it becomes challenging to break the spell. I often succumb to it myself, so it is remiss of me to offer the advice and claim not to feel this way. Yet, through my personal development, I’ve come to appreciate these are fleeting states and I don’t remain stuck in this condition for long.

Awareness has taught me, what I focus on builds momentum and becomes integrated into my reality. So, the advice is clear: be aware when you are pointing the finger to what is wrong outside of you. Go within and attend to that part of you that wants to judge outside circumstances as bad. Heal yourself by integrating your shadow self into the wholeness of your perfect nature. Be mindful of your thoughts, leading you down a path of negativity. If you do this often, you will break the cycle of incessant thinking of something wrong with the world. It is worth the effort to your personal growth. Eventually, problems that once consumed you no longer affect you because you have upgraded your model of reality to coincide with a new awareness.

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