When you ask most people if they want to make a difference in the world, the answer is almost always, “yes.” How to do that, however, isn’t quite as obvious—and many people can become discouraged if they feel like they haven’t fulfilled their purpose or made an impact. The world is a big place and it can be hard to know where to start.
So, can the average person make a difference? Most people think so. In fact, 85% of participants surveyed agree they can make the world a better place through their actions.
However, the actions people take to make a difference vary. Let’s see how people believe they can make a difference. Plus, we have some information on how people get involved to create change and what options are available to get started.
As the research shows, making a positive impact in the community is something that can benefit you as well the people and organizations you serve. Whether you’re eager to figure out how to make a difference through your work, for your loved ones, or in your community, we’re breaking down simple ways you can make a difference:
Now that you have those five different action items, let’s dive into the details of each one.
Think you need loads of power, money, and influence to make a difference? Think again. There’s no shortage of ways that you can make an impact.
Below, we provide an overview of each of the five tactics we’ve identified—as well as a ton of suggestions for how you can put them into action.
You have plenty of skills and knowledge available to you that others may not have. Those skills don’t have to be technical or specific in order for people to benefit from them. Here are some examples of using your talents to create positive change:
This one seems obvious, but many people become hung up on the donating part without thinking of all the non-monetary ways they can give back—like with their time.
Writing a check can make a huge difference for small organizations or groups, but isn’t the only solution if you’re short on funds. Here are some ways to donate or volunteer that will make a significant impact in your community:
You don’t need to look far—you can make a difference in the lives of your family and friends, too. Seven out of 10 Americans name family as the most meaningful and fulfilling aspect in their lives, so don’t underestimate the influence you have in your own close family circle.
What’s more, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family if they’re okay or how you can help. For those who struggle with their mental health, simply having someone be there for them can provide comfort and have more meaning than you realize.
You can never have too much gratitude in your life. Not only will focusing on what you’re thankful for make a difference in your own happiness, it can have a huge impact on the person or group you recognize.
By completing some of the steps we've outlined so far, you might come across a cause that inspires you or really resonates with you.
The best way to make a difference is to use that passion for your cause and turn it into action. Don't just admire that cause—actively participate in it.
Need some inspiration? We’re sharing some popular causes that many identify with, as well as easy actions you can take today to start making an impact.
These are examples of broad-scale social issues and common actions people may take to make a difference. However, these causes can be broached on a smaller-scale by taking action in your community, on your work team, or in your direct circle of influence.
For example, if you see a process at work that isn’t efficient and you know it could be better, take action and develop a new, improved process. This will make a positive impact on you and your entire team—and as an added bonus, you’ll prove to your boss you have good team player skills.
It’s proof that making a difference doesn’t need to be a world-saving and headline-worthy endeavor.
Speaking of which, ultimately, it’s the little things we do every day that can make a difference in the world or within our small network of friends, family, and acquaintances.
This quote from Julia Louis-Dreyfus seems to say it all, “The best way to make a difference in the world is to start by making a difference in your own life.” If you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll start to make a positive impact in your own life, as well as the lives of your loved ones and others around you.
If your goal is to one day make a difference on a larger scale, get involved and support causes that affect large groups of people. Use resources like social media or news reporters to share your cause with the world. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t seem like your work or efforts have created significant change, it may have impacted more people than you realize.
Need help getting started? Sometimes our own lack of motivation can be the biggest hurdle to overcome when figuring out the best way to take action.
To fire up your own initiative, seek out a buddy who also wants to make a difference to be your partner in changemaking. Two heads are better than one and it might be easier to brainstorm together how you can make an impact in your community.
Another way to get started on your journey to making a difference is to receive coaching and feedback on your strengths and weaknesses to see where you would be most effective in making change.
F4S has tons of free resources, including personalized coaching, to help you identify what unique strengths you bring to the table and how you can improve on other skills to make a real and fulfilling difference.
Find out how to make a difference using your unique talents in just 20-minutes a week with our fast coaching—get started today!
Our programs were designed by world-renown coaches, and sessions only take 5-15 minutes. Get started for free with personalized program now by chatting in the box below:
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Coach Marlee (your amazing AI-powered personal coach) will analyse your unique traits and goals to let you know which program to start with (and if there are any you should skip)!
Your recommended programs include:
Big picture thinking is at the heart of making a difference. Increase your comfort and use of abstract and strategic thinking to articulate your ‘big why’ and to gain a bigger perspective. Big picture - abstract thinking is key to living a life of deep meaning and fulfilment.
Inspire yourself and others with grand visions and goals. A focus on goals is especially helpful for missions that make a difference, maintaining focus overtime, and achieving deep satisfaction and fulfillment in your work and life.
Strengthen your emotional intelligence (EQ) and mindfulness to form deep and authentic connections at work and in life. Awareness of your and others’ emotions is at the heart of ‘reading people’, mindful communication and using your talents to make an authentic difference in the world.
Empower others by trusting their experience and the genius within them. During this eight week program Coach Marlee will help you to develop a genuine appreciation for experimentation and data and a willingness to empower the opinions, feedback and insights of those you would like to help.
In this high impact eight week program Coach Marlee will help increase your comfort and confidence to lead out and make a difference, influence stakeholders and also help you develop greater comfort to compete and collaborate with the worlds best in your focus area.
Develop ‘step back’ mastery for increased self-awareness and tools for strategically making a difference. Reflection and patience are core to consolidating learning, development, critical thinking, recharging and authentic and mindful leadership.
Comfort to initiate and kick things off is at the heart of making a difference. Close the gap between your great ideas and taking action on them. Strengthen your comfort and motivation to start meaningful conversations and opportunities to achieve deep satisfaction and fulfillment in your work and life.
Explore, strengthen or identify your ambitions. Trust in your ‘gut feel’ and point of view is especially helpful for missions that make a difference, maintaining focus on what is most important to you and for achieving deep satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.
In this high impact nine week program Coach Marlee will help you to increase your self leadership and general wellbeing while also helping you to break through self sabotage, develop life long skills for emotional resilience and self-esteem, all foundational skills for making a difference. Enjoy weekly cutting edge science backed wellbeing resources from Blisspot.
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“Wow this program has totally changed my relationship to goals! Thanks so much Marlee, I miss you already”
“Quite amazing how many things get done when they are initiated!”
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