If you want to make a difference, do these three things:
- know what it is that is most important to you,
- take action from where you are,
- and keep your focus on the most important thing, even if at first you are not successful.
Recently my partner and I were overseas on a small island off Lombok, and while struck by its beauty, we were also aware of the piles of rubbish- shoes, plastic, fishing nets, medical supplies piled up on the beaches.
I was concerned, and dived to tug a plastic bag from the coral, however that’s where my rubbish removal stopped. It was not the most important thing to me.
In the Women in Leadership Forum, as we explore leadership, we are noticing what a difference it makes when we start to recognise what is important, and work out what we can do, from where we are.
Women are sharing stories of action they are taking in their field of influence. It’s about attending to that internal voice, making a conscious decision to take action and moving forward, a step at a time.
The reason I told the story about my lack of intention to clear rubbish, was that I recently read the sory of Afroz Shah of Mumbai. Afroz decided that cleaning his beach of rubbish was the most important thing. He didn’t wait for someone in authority to begin the work. He decided to make a difference and with an 82 yr old friend, began slowly clearing the beach by hand.
Within a month they were joined by 40 volunteers, and in 6 months a volunteer body had been formed. Then as awareness grew, civic officials provided amenities like excavator machines, trucks and workers. 4,500 tonnes of rubbish was removed over 69 weeks.
There was no authority and no plan. Afroz started with a strong intention, and a mate, and slowly he made a difference.
Like Afroz, we might start in a small way. After a while others might join us, and our power to make a difference grows.
The discipline and practice is to keep remembering the most important thing, to take action from where we are and to get out of our own way.