It’s an honor today to share an article written by John Anyasor, from HiLife2B. John is a regular visitor here, and authors his own blog while also attending college full-time. He has a real desire to help others, and much of what he writes focuses on personal growth. A recent example of his work include Should I or Should I Not? The Curse of Indecision.
We can all make a difference, and today John shares:
How to Make a Difference Without a Whole Lot of Money
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank
Have you got the itch? The itch for change? It’s that feeling you get when it seems like time is moving at no more than a snail’s pace. You’ve settled into the routine of simply living. As usual, there’s a war going on that nobody really wants to fight. Or there’s some disease that threatens our way of life. Same old, same old.
Everywhere we go, there are images of pain, fear, and hatred spread across some advertisement in bold letters. These images seem to ask us, “Is this the world you want to live in? Help these people fight the good fight! Help us find a cure! Help us make a difference! Do something!”
As a result, we say to ourselves, “Enough waiting around. It’s time for change. It’s time to make a difference.”
Okay, now you’re pumped and ready to make your mark on the world. First, maybe to begin your world-changing efforts, you make a commitment to donate to charity (the ones that give to poor third-world countries) at least once a month. That sounds reasonable, right?
Alright, it’s been a month, and to your surprise, on the news you hear of kids still starving in third world countries. You’re taken aback. “I thought people were donating money to this cause. And I thought I was giving enough. What’s going on?” you think to yourself.
Then, a great idea strikes you. “Maybe instead of being passive and paying money to some charity every week, I’ll hit it where it hurts. I’ll go to those starving countries and fix them myself!”
Fast forward a month later:
You realize you don’t have any money. You may or may not have kids to feed. You might be a little biased towards riding on planes, thanks to the media (you know how the terrorists hijack planes, don’t you?). You believe that it’ll take forever to save someone else’s plight, especially when they’re halfway around the world!
You also have a job that is under the control of your ever-so-grateful boss. You can go save the world on your own time.
With all of these things working against you, you finally resign to just paying your monthly charity check and hope things turn out for the best.
Just so you know, the person in the above scenario isn’t making a difference.
Now before we get to the meat of this article, this scenario is based on what I think usually happens. I’m not saying this is you. I’m just saying this is typically the scenario that plays out amongst the general population.
Society keeps telling you to change the world, and yet it forces you into jobs which rob you of the time needed to become skilled enough to do so. Society wants you to pay to save third world countries from hunger. Society wants you to keep living the way you are, while making you envious of a celebrities wealth at the same time.
Have you noticed something? (Because I sure have!) Society is training us to obsess over money.
Reality tv, gossip magazines, jobs, and internships: they all provide the carrot on the end of the stick — money. We’re supposed to have money, but God forbid we’re supposed to accrue enough to actually do anything with it!
We’re supposed to spend it trying to survive so that we can work more. We have to spend it paying off mortgages on houses we know we can’t afford.
Well, I for one am here to solve this problem.
There’s only one solution to this dilemma and there’s only one way to make a difference: we must give up our obsession with money.
Here’s the deal with money — use it or lose it
From now on, all the things you do now will be in preparation for the future. Put money into the things that have the most value. When you want to make a difference, there’s no purpose in investing in things that only give you instant gratification. Skip that fancy little red dress you’ll get bored of in two weeks, and use it to pay the phone bill. That big screen you’ve had your eye on can wait; spend the money on maintenance to prevent your car from breaking down (or better yet, save more money and take the bus!).
Work for yourself
Let’s face facts — you can’t make a difference by sitting in your office doing your boss’s work. You can use what you make to fund an online venture, but you can’t keep your job and run a profitable online business at the same time. Something has to give. My advice — as soon as it becomes more profitable to work for yourself than to work for your boss…quit.
Start an online venture
You don’t need thousands of dollars to start something that’ll make a difference. Gone are the days when you had to buy land and built a store to sell things. These days, making the switch to online is better, more accessible, and faster than offline ventures. Start a blog to get the word out of your attempt to make a difference. Sell merchandise or services — maybe both. If you have a Ma and Pop store, make the switch to MaandPop.com.
Manifest goodness within others by helping them
At this point, you’ve reclaimed your time and are earning your own living. Now you are ready to save those millions hoping and hurting across the world. But don’t make the same mistake twice by just donating money — actually go to those countries. Witness their plight. Experience the pain. And when you can’t take it anymore, find a solution. Actually teach people to improve their lives. Don’t depend on their country’s government to save them, but teach them to save themselves.
You can’t do this alone, of course. But with your newly acquired resources, you can gather like-minded individuals who’ll gladly help them on your quest.
There are people today who’ve already made the decision to save the world. Tim Ferriss is seeking to built schools in Vietnam. Steve Pavlina is empowering the masses by providing workshops to help people reach their full potential. Even Lance here is spreading awareness about breast cancer and motivating as many people as he can.
Think you can’t do it?
So did they once. They once thought they had no chance in making a difference. But that didn’t stop them from trying. And once they saw results, they tried again, and again, and again until…
Well you know the rest.
Just know that your chance to change the world hasn’t left yet. You can take action right now to fight for what you believe in or spread a passion that you have for something.
Go out right now, and think about how you’ve made a difference. And then quadruple your efforts.
“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference n this world: Those who are afraid to try themselves, and those who are afraid that you will succeed.” — Ray Goforth