change the world

3 dirty words “change the world”

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing…” ~ Jack Kerouac

Perhaps the most over-used, under-delivered expression in the history of mankind:  “change the world.”

You probably fall into one of two camps:

The first: You don’t give a rip about changing the world. Maybe you don’t think it’s realistic. Or maybe you care more about getting by and not making waves. If that’s you, there’s no need to keep reading. (But you may want to read my words of caution.)

The second: You’ve got a burning passion.  A deep, unquenchable hunger to go against the grain, pave your own path, live on the bleeding edge of possibility. If that’s you, I know where you’re at. I’ve spent those nights, lying restlessly, longing for more.

To those in the first camp – a few word’s of caution.

Life’s gonna pass you by, man. One day you’re young and think you’ve got things figured out, and then… SNAP! Just like that you’re old, wondering if you could’ve done more. Regretting the things you didn’t change. Wishing for one more chance.

I’m not a prophet. I’ve just heard the storyline time and time again.

To those in the second camp – a few words of advice.

  • Don’t listen to people who tell you to be more realistic. They’re dead wrong. Imagine how many times Ghandi heard that quip. When you’re breaking into uncharted territory, there’s always gonna be people who doubt you, maybe even those you love.
  • Stay inspired. Face it, you’re gonna get discouraged. There’s going to be times when it seems no one hears you (or even cares to hear you). Read books that inspire you. Listen to music that lifts you up. Talk with creative, energetic people. Do whatever it takes to keep that flame alive.
  • Connect with like-minded people. If you’re standing alone, you’ll quickly burn out. There’s a ton of people out there burning with the same passion you have. Find them, share with them, and collaborate.
  • For goodness sakes, don’t play it safe. There’s enough people out there doing that. If you want something, you’ve got to take the risks and make yourself vulnerable to failure. As long as your legacy lives, your dreams and ideas are still alive.  
  • Live selflessly. Don’t get caught up in yourself. Fame and glory are short-lived highs. They get old fast, and leave you feeling emptier than before. Change the world because there are millions of people waiting to be freed from ordinary lives, not because you want the attention.  True joy comes from serving others. 

In wrapping up this post, I want to tie it in with the main message of this blog: minimalism. Minimalism isn’t an end in itself. It’s a means to a better, simpler, more meaningful life. It’s a lifestyle based on this simple premise:

If you spend less money, own less things, have fewer distractions, and spend less time doing stuff you don’t want to do – you’ll have more time and resources to focus on the stuff that really matters to you: relationships, hobbies, traveling, writing, gardening, creating…even changing the world.