What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. – Wener Heisenberg
I meet a lot of enthusiastic people who have ambitions to change some part of their world. They want to put ‘a dent the universe’. The energy and passion that comes from people who embrace change and a desire to make things better is extraordinary. I would happily spend all day listening to these people describe their passions for a better world.
But just talking about passion doesn’t make change. Right?
Many of the people think they are stuck at the first hurdle. They want to create change but they question whether they have the capability, whether they have the opportunity or influence and what it will mean for life and careers. Most of all they grapple with the issue of ‘why me?’.
In almost every case, I find the person has missed a key point. It has to be them. They have already made a dent in the universe. They had started driving the changes that they want. The force of their passion, values and the capabilities that bring them to this change have already pushed them over the line into becoming a change agent. What has started to happen is that they are now holding themselves back and holding back the change that they want to see.
Like the quantum physicist whose observations change the measurement, the fact that these aspiring change agents are asking the question about how to have an impact means they are already:
– All are involved in some kind of learning or awareness building activities on the issues
– Some are already influential role models to the communities that need to change
– All have seen the problem because they have some capability to contribute to a solution
– In many cases, they have missed that things have got better with the actions that they have already taken
– Usually people are so concerned with their personal doubts that they can’t see any of these things.
These conversations are some of the richest I have. The challenge is simple – releasing someone from constraints that they have put on themselves, showing them the impact has begun and helping them start to drive even more change.
Whether or not Mahatma Gandhi actually said ‘Be the change you want to be in the world’ there is enormous power in that idea. Most people focus on that phrase as meaning ‘Become the change…’. Too often that ignores that ‘Be’ could mean that they already are the change. It might just be a question of living up to their potential.
So what kind of change agent are you? Something prompted you to read this post. What is your potential?