I have the amazing privilege of interviewing world-changers for my job. Their stories are some of great valor, grit and determination—but they’re also stories of daily life, similar to the moments you and I live. This revelation shocked me.
Contrary to what we might think, many of the heroic moments world-changers experience happen in midst of daily life. This means we too can be world-changers. It’s not a matter of luck or fate. It’s a matter of action and what we choose to do with the time we’re given.
I used to think being a world-changer was an extraordinary fate handed down from the heavens. But now I’m learning that the path to making a difference isn’t as hidden and exclusive as I think it is. In fact, it’s a path many of us can travel.
After listening to these leaders for quite some time now, I’ve identified some key actions that help world-changers start on this path. My hope in sharing these actions is that we’ll no longer idolize those who are having an influence on their worlds, but rather become them.
Consider the following things world-changers do early in their life:
1. They Accept the Small Moments
In his book All Groan Up, author Paul Angone says, “It doesn’t have to be monumental to be worthy of my effort.”
These words are contradictory to our times because everything about our society conditions us to only notice the big moments, the moments you can share with others. Meanwhile, we miss entirely what it means to be faithful in the small.
World-changers do the contradictory work of pressing into the small moments as well as the big ones. They don’t wait for the spotlight to start living and doing their best work. Rather, they create their best work by wading through the small jobs many of us deem unworthy of our time.
Simply put, treasure the small, insignificant moments, and you’ll be better prepared for the big moments.
2. They Introduce Perspective in Their Lives
Perspective means seeing things as they truly are. Society today puts across the myth that world-changers are hyper-focused on their cause during all hours of the day. But the truth is that healthy world-changers feel comfortable enough to step back from the cause for a few hours and tuck their children into bed or watch TV with their spouse.
In other words, when we see things as they truly are, we see that a cause does not entirely depend on our efforts. Rather, it depends on God. This zoomed-out perspective helps the world-changer hold their efforts loosely—enough to give themselves the self-care they need to prosper.
3. They Push Back Against Scarcity
“I don’t have enough money.”
“I don’t have enough time.”
Sound familiar? In a culture of scarcity, our excuses for not starting often reflect not having enough of something. Yet, oddly, people who use this language don’t wait till they have more than enough money and time to make a difference. Rather, they let the fear of scarcity drive them to never start at all.
World-changers, on the other hand, don’t wait till they have more than enough. As Brené Brown says in her book Daring Greatly, “The opposite of ‘never enough’ isn’t abundance … the opposite of scarcity is enough.”
World-changers start when they have just enough—enough time and enough money. This is the fuel that gets them started.
Scarcity language fools us into never starting. So speak the language of “enough,” because more times than not, you already have all that it takes to do something meaningful.
4. They Settle Into Their Self-Worth
Many of us might start on noble endeavors as a way to prove ourselves to the world. But while a world-changer’s journey might start this way, it often doesn’t end this way.
Eventually, the world-changer has a moment where they realize the depth of their own worth. At some point, the world-changer realizes they are loved—whether by God or by others—and they don’t have to prove themselves. And it is this revelation that often gives way to their best contribution.
The truth is, when we stop serving our insecurities, we can start serving the world. Settle into the worth spoken to you from God, and let it manifest into something great.
5. They Have an Idea of What Their Mission Is
Today, it’s sexy to have a short, pithy mission statement for life. But often, people forget their mission statement as they wade through the routine of daily life. These mission statements end up doing nothing for them.
This is not to say we should all abandon mission statements. This is to say that a mission doesn’t have to be fully formulated in a catchy mission statement for a person to make a difference.
God is calling us all to serve in some way, big and small. We should be considering this question of calling, thinking about what our bigger role in life might be. But by no means does your mission have to be figured out by the time you reach 35. Society might portray world-changers as having their mission completely figured out, but in reality, most people learn what God is calling them to by remaining close to Him in daily life.
As you can see, these actions are nothing extraordinary—and that’s the point. Society might make it seem like world-changers are wholly separate and unfathomable creatures, but they’re not. We too can be world-changers.
These actions are only the beginning—a way to start on the path of making a difference. The rest is up to you.