What is a Changemaker? Changemakers are the types of people that push the world forward. All you need to make your own waves of change is a unique idea and the initiative to do something with it, regardless of the risks. So, how will you make waves and change the game?
Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it may help. We designed this weekly podcast for ambitious Young Professionals and aspiring Leaders who want to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Throughout Season 1, we will be connecting fresh perspectives with practical strategies to help listeners feel empowered all week long. You can help us improve by joining our LinkedIn and Twitter Community by using #IgnitionPoint, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or emailing feedback to [email protected].
Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.
Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks for joining me for another Ignition Point – the show where we feature a reimagined motivational address or an exclusive Guest Keynote to help spark the momentum you need to empower another winning week. I hope you enjoyed Richard Carthon taking over the weekly monologue last week. Hearing stories like his and seeing his point of view is proof that real gamechangers are all around you – you just have to open your eyes, ears and minds to find them.
Gamechangers and changemakers are the types of people that push the world forward. They rock the boat to see what kind of waves form from their actions. Most of the time, the change creates a ripple in the water – so to speak – but every once in a while, the action they take creates a tidal wave of momentous change.
There are a lot of people who feel that influencers are the only ones who can affect change, but this is 100% certified BS. You don’t need power, popularity or wealth. All you need to create waves of change and launch a movement is a unique idea and the initiative to do something with it, regardless of the risks. The potential for change is born from the moment you act on your unique idea, but the wave of change will only form if you gain a following.
So ultimately, there are two ways to be a changemaker. You can fearlessly take action and work to quickly grow your following or you can courageously be someone else’s first follower and show others how to follow.
There is no wrong choice, so which approach will you choose? To help you find the answer, let’s jump into this week’s monologue for someone else’s perspective on how you can change the world. Let’s get after it!
THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE
“What starts here changes the world.”
If you change the lives of just 10 people — and each one of those people changed the lives of another 10 people — just 10 — then in five generations — 125 years — you will have changed the lives of 80,000 people.
If you think it’s hard to change the lives of 10 people — and change their lives forever — you’re wrong. I see it happen every day.
If you think about it, the soldiers in our armed forces are often saved by the decisions of just one person, but their children yet unborn were also saved. And their children’s children were saved. Generations were saved by one decision made by one person.
But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it. So, what starts here can indeed change the world. The question is — what will the world look like after you change it?
Our struggles in this world are similar, and the lessons to overcome those struggles and move forward apply equally to all.
Let’s start off with something simple. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. This reinforces the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that's made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.
Next, let’s talk about teamwork. You can’t change the world alone — you will need some help — and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers, and a strong navigator to guide you.
If you want to change the world, find someone to help you reach your destination.
Nothing matters but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your creed, not your education, and not your social status.
If you want to change the world, measure the people you meet by the size of their hearts.
No matter how much effort you put in to what you want to accomplish, it won’t be enough by someone else’s standards. They’ll always find “something” wrong. Your task will be perfect in your eyes, but no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up inadequate by someone else’s measure.
If you want to change the world, persist and keep moving forward.
When I was starting out, I had to face a new challenge every day. Every task had standards to meet. If you failed, your name was posted on a list, and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to a “circus.” A circus was two hours of additional work designed to wear you down – to break your spirit – to force you to quit. No one wanted to go to the circus. A circus meant more fatigue — and more fatigue meant the following day would be more difficult — and more circuses were likely. Eventually, everyone went to the circus, but an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those who did the two extra hours of work got stronger. The pain of the circus built inner strength and cultivated physical resiliency. Life is filled with circuses. You'll fail. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.
But if you want to change the world, you can’t be afraid of the circus.
When the circumstances seem darkest, you must keep your objective in perspective to be successful on your mission. During your darkest hours, you must be calm and composed — this is when all your skills, your physical power, and all your inner strength will be brought to bear.
If you want to change the world, you must stand prepared be your very best in the darkest moment.
I hope your dark days are few, but if those who came before you can rise above misery then you can too. Through the years, I have learned a lot about the power of hope. Hope is being able to see the light despite all the darkness. Hope is to the meaning of life, what oxygen is to the lungs. One person can change the world by giving people hope.
So, if you want to change the world, remind the people you take your journeys with that it is always darkest just before the dawn and that tomorrow is a new day.
My final suggestion is to endure. Where I began my journey, a brass bell was hung in the center of our compound. All you had to do to quit was ring that bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at the break of dawn. Ring the bell and you no longer have to rise to meet the standards of the daily tests — you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.
If you want to change the world, don’t ever ring the bell.
Wherever you are in your life’s journey, you are moments away from starting to change the world for the better. You can affect the lives of 80,000 people in the next century.
So, start each day with a task completed. Find partners to help you through life and show respect to everyone you meet. Know that life is not fair, and you'll fail often. Take some risks, step up when the times are tough, extend your hand to help lift someone up, and never, ever give up. Do these things and the next generation will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
Then what started here will have changed the world — for the better.
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
This week’s monologue reiterates that the change you make can take the form of small ripples or tidal waves, but the size is determined by those who are affected by it. So, focus on changing someone’s life instead of focusing on the prize or praise of igniting a movement. Then, regardless of size or scale, you’ll have helped to shape the future.
Now, don’t go expecting the game you change to always come up aces. When you’re working toward change, every action you take will be met with pushback, but resistance indicates that you’re doing what needs to be done. Every time you find it, meet resistance with resilience, and keep moving forward.
If you’re still on board and you’re ready to roll, start by applying these three strategies to amplify your changemaking abilities.
Right off the bat, you have to take ownership of the basic tasks which will bring your unique idea into the real world. You can’t just wish change into being. Change is a long game that demands hard work. That means you need master the art of prioritization. Cut through the noise of your day by focusing on accomplishing your basic responsibilities and then make consistent execution a habit.
If you haven’t found the time, you have to make the time. That’s because only action drives change. You can’t do everything, so start by doing something. Go build a strong foundation on the little victories that come from completing the essential tasks that matter most.
Now, calling back to the end of the monologue, I can guarantee you two things about “ringing the bell” and giving up. Number 1, I can promise you that on your road to changing the world, there will come a time when you’re ready to throw in the towel. I don’t need a doctorate degree to prove that to you, because I’ve lived it, and you will too if you haven’t already. Number 2, I can guarantee – without a doubt – if you push through those feelings, you'll later look back and realize that you felt ready to quit just before your breakthrough happened.
Breakdown always comes before breakthrough. You must accept that you’re not helpless. If you feel like you need to change your goals because you aren’t reaching them; remind yourself that goals aren’t supposed to be easy to achieve. If you feel like you’re not fitting in; know that being different doesn’t hold you back from success, it can propel you to it. If you feel like you’re being ignored or blown off; don’t take it personally, try communicating differently. If you feel frustrated or pissed off; anger is more useful than desperation, so let it drive you to keep trying. If you feel like people are turning their backs on you; take a deep breath. Breakthroughs can be painful because moving forward often means leaving something or someone behind. Be forgiving and keep moving forward.
When your breakthrough happens, step into your new way of living. Successfully changing the world is a process that is part preparation and part opportunity. Finding success on this type of mission is a slow process and quitting will never speed it up. So, don’t ever give up just because you’re not seeing instant results. Instead, serve as a beacon of hope to the people around you. Buy into the fact that the reward of changing the world far outweighs the discomfort of working to make it happen. After all, discomfort is temporary, quitting is permanent.
Last, but not least, you’ve got to stop talking and start doing. So many people say they’ve got these great ideas that are going to change the world. Hell, in the last months of my time in college I probably heard it once a week. I still wonder how many of those people were expecting some type of participation trophy for having an idea. If you want to change the world, you aren’t going to get there by talking about it. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
Successful people don’t just formulate the plan, they follow through. If you get a lead or an opportunity that could further your goal and get you one step closer to changing the world, do something about it right then and there. If you tell someone you’re going to follow up with them at a certain time, don’t procrastinate! Show a sense of urgency and make your follow through part of your brand. You can talk about your idea after you’ve reached your goal and made your waves of change.
Over the last ten years, I’ve put a lot of thought into what it takes to make meaningful, lasting change. In the pivotal moments, I’ve always leaned on music to keep me in line. When you’ve exhausted all your weekly strategies, channel some of these lyrics to keep you on task:
Go out there this week and shape our future. Reward yourself when you get after it and punish yourself when you slack off. Start by making time to complete your essential tasks, then inspire others to never quit by being a beacon of hope, and follow through when you say you’re going to do something. If you keep moving forward, it will only be a matter of time before you make a tidal wave that will change the game.
Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it would help. Your thoughts and feedback help Ignition Point to keep moving forward, so feel free to send me an email to [email protected] or write a review for the show on Apple Podcasts.
We hold out until the end of each show to share who inspired each week’s Ignition Point for two reasons. To keep you curious and remind you to focus on the motivation. This week’s Ignition Point was adapted from the 2014 Commencement Address at UT Austin presented by the ninth commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Naval Admiral William McRaven.
If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it! So, stay motivated and keep moving forward. If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.
I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.
Now get on out there, and win the week!