Are you working to change the world?

Are you working on something that can change the world, yes or no?

That’s from Google founder Larry Page, who believes that for 99.999% of people, the answer is no.

He also believes that this is a serious problem. I agree.

Many of our collective challenges today (climate change, the obesity epidemic, the Kardashians) are natural byproducts of an industrial thinking taken to its logical extreme. This thinking says, Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes more $$$.

If your answer to Page’s question is no, I’m guessing you’re working on something that gives you the most money.

I know, it’s easy for Google Man to talk about changing the world. He’s got a billion dollars and a genius brain.

The rest of us hustle just to make a decent living. We have neither the freedom nor the ability to have an impact on the mind-bendingly complex problems facing our planet.

Many of us want to work to change the world for the better…but we can’t.

Or, I should say, we believe we can’t.

Let’s reframe Google man’s question:

Do you believe that you’re working on something that can change the world, yes or no?

Beliefs have power. They shape our lives. Gandhi put it this way:

Your beliefs become your thoughts.

Your thoughts become your words.

Your words become your actions.

Your actions become your habits.

Your habits become your values.

Your values become your destiny.


Can you make a positive impact on someone or something?

The answer to that, of course, is yes.

Find a way to do it. Doesn’t need to be your job. Could involve just volunteering down the street or cooking a meal for the old woman in the apartment downstairs.

Act, and beliefs telling you that you can’t have an impact in the world start changing. You start to see more actions that change something. Now you’re building a different feedback loop. String some of those together, and I promise you, good things will happen.


2 thoughts on “Are you working to change the world?

  1. Sawil says:

    Often when I think I want to do something nice for others and the world I am reminded that what I need to do most is to do something for myself. It seems selfish at first but then it tends to turn into something that affects others and the world in a much more genuine way.

    1. Anthony J says:

      mark twain’s what is man is a long story about an old man making the case to a young man that everything we do is out of self interest. is that true? i don’t know. but i do find that things tend to go better for me when i operate by a principle that can be expressed roughly as, it is in my self interest to be more selfless.

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