Do I Really Have To Change The World?

Is anyone else annoyed by being asked how they’re going to change the world?  I’m in the process of making a career change (which is exercising my capacity for change to the limit) and am encountering multiple business gurus and motivational speakers urging me to define how I want to change the world.  I don’t seem to possess this aspiration and occasionally have to fight the feeling that something’s wrong with me.  Recently, I came across Drew Dudley’s TED Talk on everyday leadership where he says, in part:

“…as long as we make leadership something bigger than us, as long as we keep leadership something beyond us, as long as we make it about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves and from each other.”

If I study the entirety of his remarks, Dudley still seems to be arguing for trying to change the whole world, but at least he’s got a lighter hold on the concept.  Maybe Michael Jackson sang it better:

“If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change, yey

Na na na, na na na, na na na na oh ho”

The idea of 6 billion people each trying to change the world strikes me as comical at best.  The idea that we can solve/fix problems of any great size is a Western, and particularly, an American concept.  It doesn’t seem to jibe with our current understanding of quantum physics and it flies in the face of the world’s religious teachings.  It certainly doesn’t square with Buddhism.  The very definition of Islam is surrender and submission to God’s will.  For Sufis of a certain stage, yesterday is dead, tomorrow is not born and today is in the throes of death.  Rumi said  “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself”.  I think he also said that those who know God do not desire to change a thing.  And, not to leave out Ram Dass: Be Here Now.

Peace !


Sarah can be reached by phone: 415-221-6126 or by email: sarah415info(at)

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