We live in a complex world with many challenges.
I’m talking about challenges on a local and global scale, challenges that pertain to the wellbeing of humanity as well as all the other species on the planet.
Author Dan Millman once said that “[t]he secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. The more energy we put on something, the more we enforce it. So how can we focus our energy not on “fixing the problem”, but on creating the future?
In order to do that, I believe we first need to empower ourselves as individuals and leaders of the future. There’re many ways to do so, and here are just 12 that I learned along my journey of growth.
#1 Be Critical
We’ve been taught many things since we were young, but have we ever questioned those teachings and beliefs? Are they still serving us till this day, or are they actually outdated or obsolete? If we are critical of what we’ve been told and actually do research on our own, it’s more likely that we’ll gain back control of our lives and not let media or corporates direct our lives.
#2 Be Brave
Bravery isn’t about not having fear. It’s about moving forward despite of fear. If we don’t move forward just because there’s fear, we’ll never get out of our comfort zone. It’s scary and challenging to try something new, but taking baby steps with the support of others can prepare you for that. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, sign up for a course to practice that.
#3 Take Leadership
Be the change you wish to see in the world. If there’s anything you don’t like, start from yourself and make changes. If you don’t like people throwing trash everywhere, start raising awareness in your neighborhood. If you are concerned about climate change, try lowering your footprint by going vegan. There’re plenty of ways for you to take leadership and move forward.
#4 Never Stop Learning
Henry Ford once said that “[a]nyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty”. Be a lifelong learner who never becomes complacent or rigid, who always adapts to the changing world and finds joy in learning new things that enrich our lives. Be it Storytelling, Art of Hosting, Systemic Constellations…never stop learning!
#5 Go Vegan
Going vegan is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life because it allows me to take responsibility for my actions and live a life that’s more aligned with my core values of empathy and kindness. Most of us have been fed animal products since we were little and never researched or tried alternatives that are actually healthier, more environmentally-friendly, and more humane. If we want to embark on a journey of healing, minimizing the harm caused by our diet is essential.
#6 Be Authentic
Authenticity is rare in our society because we’re afraid of judgements, shame, conflicts, or a plethora of other things that we’ve been told to avoid. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we lay down our defenses and stop wearing a mask, we’ll feel much lighter. Only when we’re authentic human beings and show our vulnerabilities can we make real connections with others (and ourselves).
#7 Say Goodbye to Things That Don’t Serve Us
If you’ve always wanted to quit smoking, drinking, gambling, or any other habits that you wish you didn’t have, or if you want to get out of a relationship that doesn’t help you grow or thrive – do it today. Life is short, so be the best version of yourself that you’d like to see.
#8 Adopt A Personal Practice
Having a personal practice helps us stay grounded and peaceful amid the chaos and complexity of the world. A personal practice can be yoga, zen writing, meditation, Qigong, or anything that gives you energy and helps you stay centered. The key to it is to practice it daily until it becomes your second nature.
#9 Connect with Nature
Human beings are animals who are a part of nature, but living in modern societies, many of us seem to have forgotten our origin. We live in concrete boxes of apartment buildings, cutting ourselves from nature elements that remind us of the divinity inside of us. Hugging a tree or breathing in the woods can be healthy and soothing especially when you feel stressed out.
#10 Practice Nonviolent Communication
How do we communicate to nurture a relationship, instead of hurting it? No one has taught us how to communicate based on our feelings and needs. With Nonviolent Communication, unnecessary conflicts and misunderstanding can be reduced.
#11 Foster Compassion
Compassion is what allows us to understand and accept. Without compassion, we easily fall into the trap of blaming and “other-ing”. Foster compassion by trying to think beyond ourselves and from others’ perspectives. What’s the reason behind other people’s actions that may have upset me? Can I understand that everyone’s got their own issues and difficulties in life? Can I feel the pain and suffering of others?
#12 Trust Life
Life is bigger than us. It’s beautiful, magical, and unfathomable. Its intricacy can be overwhelming if we were to try to understand and analyze everything with our rational mind. Are we able to trust that we’re exactly where we need to be at any moment of our lives? Are we willing to go with the flow and trust that whatever needed will emerge?
Are there any other ways you’ve tried to empower yourself? Comment below and let me know!