Have you guys ever heard about how the best way to make a difference in the world is to start with one person at a time? And if you can help change one person, slowly you will be able to change the world?
I can’t remember precisely where, but I’ve heard this too. For years and years when I was younger I ignored it. I was apathetic. I straight up didn’t care. Why should I try to make a difference in the world? Who am I? Why should anybody care? Thinking about it now, it seems obvious that apathy comes from a lack of self-esteem.
Slowly over the past few years I have become more assertive in making a difference in the world. It’s easy to see why, when you understand that my apathy came from having low self-esteem. As my self-esteem improves, so does my perception of my self-worth. Self-worth gives me confidence that, if assertive, I COULD have an impact on this world.
Pretty cool huh?
Working for Kingpin Social the last few years, I would be lying if I said there weren’t a lot of tough times. Starting your own business (with zero business experience) is no joke, in the services industry nonetheless – an industry that can be very unrewarding.
Many times I have been asked where I get my motivation from. Why don’t I find a different job? Many more times I have asked myself those exact questions. Usually this happens after a tough weekend where I had a student that was stubborn and difficult to break through to. I love each and every student for the unique challenges they offer, but some are definitely easier than others.
And that’s only the weekend. There are also the countless hours I spend on the phone or on Facebook helping individual students out, free of charge, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I remember many roommates who, after witnessing hours and hours of phone calls, have asked me “Why do you do it?”
The answer is simple: this is the way I can impact the world. This is the way I can make a positive difference. This is the way I can help change the world… by focusing on one student at a time.
I view it like this:
If I’m able to help a student make a positive change in HIS life, then I have already helped make a difference in the world – even if it’s only one small difference. BUT now if that student can take what he learned from me and have a positive impact on another person, now I have had an impact on TWO people. And soon this spreads like a wildfire and the “small” impact I made on one, is now a BIG impact on a larger platform. (Think about it like Social Media, where one opinion can spread to thousands and thousands, but it starts originally from one person sharing it with friends, and those friends sharing it with their friends.)
This is why I do what I do.
This is the very specific reason as to why I continue to teach and work in the industry I do, even when there are times it is not the most rewarding.
About 2 years ago I read a book by the Dalai Lama, titled: “An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life”. Growing up as a Christian I never had a positive view of any other religion. The only education I had on other religions came through my friends, family or the media. There’s no way I could have had the most accurate perception.
I read the book with an open mind. I wanted to learn more about Buddhism. I wanted to learn more about compassion. In the book there’s a passage about how when you die, the only thing that remains is not your material goods, but peoples memories of you. The only thing that remains is the time you have spent with each and every person. This hit me hard. I realized that not only does this apply to the people you spend the most time with, like your family or close friends, but also the ones you spend very little time with, like the barista at Starbucks, or the cashier at Safeway.
From that moment on I have consciously put an effort into having a positive impact on each person I meet on a daily basis.
Back in elementary school, was there one teacher that really stands out in your mind? Maybe a summer camp counselor? Or a hockey coach?
Of course there is. Each and every single one of you reading this will have an individual from your past that had a major impact on your life. Are you still in contact with him/her? I’d guess not. But I bet you still think about these people on a regular basis. I know I do.
And that’s so fucking cool. Even after 10, 15, 20 years, your memory of that person still stands strong, and the lessons you learned continue to impact you on a daily basis.
So what is the key to making an impact on the world? Start with one person at a time. AND even before that, start with yourselves. Make it your goal to become the most positive person you can be. Then, bring your positivity as a gift to each and every single person you interact with on a daily basis. BE ASSERTIVE. Put in the effort. It’s ALWAYS worth it. Every time I receive an e-mail like the one below, I know what I am doing is worth it:
A couple weeks ago I was out with a bunch of people in my university program for an event, and afterwards we all headed to the nearby nightclub.
My buddy and I tore around the place, pushing each other to open sets. I ran into a girl there that I’ve known since High School; we always run into each other at least a few times a year, and say hello/catch up on what we’ve been up to. So I was hanging out with her and her friends for a bit, and after a while she said something that absolutely made my night, and made everything I’ve been working on for the last 6 months worthwhile.
She said, “Adam, you are one of the most amazing people I know. Your smart, funny, social, and nice. You’re going to be so successful at whatever you do. I mean, you were nice before, but this year I’ve noticed you’ve really changed.”
It was so satisfying to hear her say that, to know that I really have come a long way. My confidence is so much stronger than it used to be, and I think its because I no longer let my fears control me. Approaching attractive women, along with public speaking, are probably the two biggest fears I have (other than physical harm), and over the last year I’ve forced myself to face them on a constant basis. I believe that is the reason for my new confidence.
Your bootcamp was instrumental in making that change happen, and you showed me how to do things I never thought possible. I just want to say thanks, because you helped changed my life.”
I never expect to receive e-mail like this. I hope I do but I understand it will be rare. That’s the nature of life; rarely will you be praised as much as you should be.
But fuck it.
Let’s begin to make a difference in this world anyways. LET’S START TODAY. I want each and every single one of you who reads this to start putting in that effort. I want each and every single one of you to start becoming more assertive, to start taking action, whatever that action may be.
And let’s help each other do it! This blog is one of the ways Brian and I are putting in an effort to make a difference in the world. We do this blog first and foremost for ourselves. If we have one reader or five thousand, we don’t care. Making a difference in one is what we are after, and hopefully that person will be inspired enough to help others do the same.
So let’s help each other out! What I want you guys to do is this: Brian’s Book: “The Kingpin Philosophy: An Outsiders Perspective on the Power of Social Influence” is coming out tomorrow, and it’s going to be HUGE – not in length but in the difference it will make for the people that read it.
This is what I want each of you guys to do: I want you to talk to a friend and get them to subscribe to the blog, by signing up below. This way they will receive the book in their inbox first thing tomorrow when it is released to the public. There are no strings attached. The book is FREE. My hope is that by reading the book it will inspire them to start taking more action in their life, whether it’s related to dating, business, internal beliefs, or something completely unrelated.
And guess what? If the book has an impact on them, you were the source of that connection, and you just made a difference in someone else’s life. I guarantee you it will feel fucking AWESOME.