How do you change the world? This seems like an over-whelming question that is nearly impossible to answer. In fact, there really is no straight answer to this question mainly because if you asked 10 different people, you’d get 10 distinctly different answers. Why? Because everyone has a different world-view that shapes how they think, their priorities and the values by which they live.
For some people, their religious views shape their world-view. For others, their world-view can often be shaped by a certain person or historical figure they admire. Having been born and raised in India, one individual whose life has significantly impacted by own, is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is a figure greatly admired throughout the country. In fact, he is considered the Father of the Nation and his Birthday is set aside each year as a national holiday and an international day of non-violence. Although a very accomplished man throughout his life, he is best known for his peaceful protest which ultimately freed India from British rule in 1947.
Although his actions in 1947 continue to impact the lives of those living in India, I personally have been most impacted by the teachings of his Guiding Principles. These principles are timeless truths that never change and always work. I recently came across an article entitled “Gandhi’s 10 Rules for Changing the World” based on his guiding principles. Permit me to share a few of my favorites with you.
Change Yourself:You must be the change you want to see in the world.” To me, this says that if I’d like to see things change around me, then I need to be the one to initiate this change. Perhaps I need to change how I’m viewing a situation, or how I’m treating someone. If I take the initiative to change what I can and need to change, then that is likely to bring about the necessary changes in my midst. Additionally, I would add that when we see the phrase “the world” it’s easy to think of this in the literal sense of this big, huge world we live in. When I hear the phrase, “the world” I tend to think about the people and circumstances in my midst. If I narrow my view of what “the world” actually is, the needed change feels much less over-whelming. I would venture to say that is how Gandhi thought of “the world” as well. He saw a circumstance in his midst that he wanted to change and remained focused on that as “his world” to change.
Forgive and let it go:“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Ouch! The forthrightness of that statement can sting a bit if forgiveness is something you struggle with and who hasn’t struggled to forgive at one time or another? Forgiveness is powerful; it’s not easy, but it’s powerful. It’s hard in that it often works against our sense of justice, but it’s powerful in that it frees us from being controlled by our anger and bitterness.
Everyone is human:“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” This really doesn’t require much explaining. We all make mistakes.
See the good in people and help them:“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” There’s a lot we could un-pack but in a nutshell, what this says to me is that a good leader is going to be a good student of people and particularly the people he or she leads. A good leader will always work to make those around him the best they can be.
Without action you aren’t going anywhere:“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”. Taking action can sometimes be difficult, but without action, very little will get done. This is so true, particularly in the business world and something that I’ve put into practice many times over the years. No, it isn’t always easy and sometimes the actions we need to take can be difficult, but in the end, we often find how very necessary and beneficial doing the hard things can be.
Persist:“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” There is nothing quite like persistence. Persistence is the best friend to conviction. If we are persistent in our goals and in our convictions, that can make all the difference. Persistence can indeed change the world.
This blog was written by Dilip Barot, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Etech Global Services, and founder of Creative Choice Group, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Etech employs 2,500 team members across the US, India and Jamaica. If you would like to learn more about Etech, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.