Be the agent for change you
want to see in the world
You only have agency about yourself and your actions.
Instead of always mourning that society or someone else oppresses you, you should use your ability to take action. Instead of putting yourself or your abilities down and thinking ‘who am I to change something’, the first step should be to take action.
Yes, external circumstances can prevent that you are happy for now. But only in the rarest of cases do you really have no other choice. If you are in prison, crippled by illness, or losing your job through external factors. Or losing a loved one. There can always be situations that you cannot influence, but do not let that stop you from doing something about the areas you can influence or have control over. And for a lot of readers of this text, you probably have large parts of your destiny in your own hands and are able to do something about it. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but if you are working on changing your habits [[slow-but-steady]] and to [[organise-for-change]] you will put yourself in the ideal position to create a different outcome and a better future for yourself.
Leading by example
It is important to understand that everything we do is perceived by other people. It does not matter if we want them to perceive or not. As long as they are able to perceive, they will. And this is exactly why leading by example is such a powerful method. People may choose to listen to you or not when you are saying something. But as long as you are doing instead of talking it is much harder to ‘not listen to you.’ Sow to put the change you want to see into action? By example.
Always remember that you learn from other people. You learn what you think is already good and what you don’t think is good. And the more often you notice a behaviour around you, the higher the probability that you will eventually adopt this behaviour yourself. That is the social pressure we are all exposed to. Always in fear of not pleasing or being expelled from the social community. It is very difficult to break out of this.
You should start to [[practice-what-you-preach]] and do what you want others to do as well. This maybe hard at first and it can take time until your actions will be adopted by others. Depending on the area you are trying to create change in (be it your job, a hobby, your private life, a sport) there may be reasons why some things are done in a certain way. And this text is not about ignoring the current status quo or about breaking any rules. You should definitely abide by the rules and always apply common sense on why those rules may be there in the first place. But if you keep thinking about why you may disagree with some of those rules and presenting others the opportunity to seeing you succeed with your new way of doing things by example they may see a value in that too and maybe a few days, weeks, month or even years from now the policies will change to take your ideas into account. Maybe not all of them, but as long as you contributed to steer the outcome into a positive direction you have made an impact. And making an impact by actually making it is be much more powerful than just talking about how you would like to make an impact.
Leading by example directly leads into mentoring. This is the next step on the journey of being an agent for change. When you take somebody under your wing to show them the ropes. The important thing is that you want to mentor from deep down. It all starts with giving. You want to share your knowledge without wanting something in return. You have to want to improve someone without asking [[whats-in-it-for-me]]. Only than it is genuine.
Mentoring someone is a powerful way of sharing your knowledge, because you are directly benefitting another human being who can profit from your knowledge. And by mentoring you create other agents of change that carry your ideas further. You in return can profit from some fresh perspectives and other viewpoints that you may not have taken into account yet that you can incorporate into your own work as well.
I always find mentoring a deeply satisfying relationship. I see mentoring not as an official badge where you are someones mentor and it is quite different from teaching. Teaching is more about the actual hard skills from my point of view where mentoring is more about a softer “guiding” and sharing instead of saying “this is how it is done.” In mentoring you have to take yourself aback and sit on the backseat while the other person is driving, but this is exactly why it’s such a powerful concept.
Mentoring can be as big and small as you like and can range from informal to very official.
This is the area of life where you probably have the biggest impact on other people and so you have tread those waters really carefully. Especially when you are not a trained professional (like me). So you should take everything that follows with an extra grain of salt.
The impact we can have on children especially big, because they learn from us even more directly and over a longer period of time than adult people do.
Wherever you spend a lot of time with other people or are together with other people, you exercise a role. You are a role model.
As soon as children come into play, especially when you have offspring yourself you are much more strongly confronted with questions regarding the type of person you are, what kind of person you want to be and what values you want to pass on to those children. And even a lot of those people who say they do not care about that actually do care about that which is evident from the way they treat and interact with children.
Children are much more malleable than adults. This has a lot of evolutionary advantages but also comes with the requirement to be extra careful of how you act and speak around children. You have to remember: We don’t have to teach our children everything, but everything we do teaches them something.
From this comes a great responsibility, because we adults influence in many ways the way children see and make contact with the world. The way we talk to them and others, the opportunities we give them and the environment we prepare for them all have a significant impact on the kind of people they become.
And the change and actions we want to see in the world will be carried on like a torch if we live and lead by example.
12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson Chapter: Before You can bring change in the world you have to set your own house in order.
Das Montessori Baby – Simone Davies (Autor), Junnifa Uzodike (Autor) pp. 248