How often do you see something and think “how is that happening?” or “why is that the way it is?”
When you look at your community, is there anything you’d change?
Here’s the thing; you’re the right person to make those changes. You’re the right person to make it happen.
The world needs you to take personal responsibility for solving the problems you see. Your community needs you to take personal initiative and to take action.
Who else is going to do it?
Do you have any reason to think the government or some other institution is going to solve the problem you’re thinking of?
More often than not, it comes down to an individual or small group who can catalyze change and have a real impact.
I had the opportunity to host Ed Brenegar on the LifeBlood podcast. He shared with me a framework for accomplishing what I’ve just been talking about.
I’m going to share an overview of Ed’s framework and how you can put it to work in your life. Doing so will help you gain a greater sense of personal responsibility.
Who am I when I’m not part of a greater collective?
We’re all part of a group or many groups, and that’s a good thing. I’m a proud American, an active member of my local community, and a member of my family.
And I’m also an individual. While I share a common belief in the ideals of the groups I’m a member of, I think my own thoughts and make my own decisions.
I’m empowered to identify a problem and to do something about it.
In my interview with Ed, he talked about asking yourself this question; “who am I when I’m not part of a greater collective?”
Ask yourself that question and spend some time thinking and writing about your answer. Think about why and how you’re the right person to identify and work towards solving problems.
What is the impact I’d like to have?
When you look around your world, what problems do you see? What impact would you like to have?
Odds are, you have a sense of what you’d like to be different.
So, if you could wave a magic wand and the situation would be different, what would that difference be? What would the impact be?
That’s the impact you want to have. And again, you’re the right person to make it happen.
Invited and initiated
We’ve all heard “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” It’s easy to think of problem solving as a straight line, from point A to point B. But that’s not always how it works.
Most of the time, it’s a circle. To take it one step further, it’s a continuous circle.
Ed talked about the difference between being invited to take part in a problem solving effort, and independently initiating action. Both are important and valuable.
This is where the circle comes in. And the most important part of the circle of problem solving isn’t where or how you enter, it’s that you enter.
Once you’ve figured out the impact you’d like to have, get involved with others (groups, communities and individuals) who are also thinking about or working on it. Let them know you’ve got some extra time and attention and you’d like to put it towards the cause they’re also focused on.
You’ve entered the circle.
Think globally, act locally
You’re not alone. The problem you’re seeing is also being seen by a lot of other people. You can be a catalyst for change.
An example can be helpful.
Let’s say you wanted to combat loneliness and alienation. These are problems facing people in every community all over the world.
Odds are, there’s someone in your neighborhood experiencing this right now. Go to the neighbor who is experiencing this. Drop by simply to visit and check in on them.
No doubt there are others focused on this problem. Research local groups and get involved.
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Check out the LifeBlood podcast.
Here’s Ed’s podcast episode.
You’re in position to enact the change you want to see; get started!
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