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When we look around we have plenty to complain about. From population explosion, to climate change, water crisis, the need to control use of plastics, the way social media and mobile communication has overtaken our lives etc. What is unfortunate is not the manifold crisis surrounding us but our response to the crisis. While the vast majority sees it as perils of development, there is a larger population that sees it as a governmental problem to be solved by elected representatives. There are very few who take onus, that this is a problem that begins with each individual contributing to it. There are even fewer who believe that however small a contribution they make, every individual can contribute significantly to alleviating the problem. The real issue is that each of us gets overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem and then pushes the onus of solving it to others.

In reality, what each person must believe is that she/ he has all the power to contribute to managing crisis and solving problems, just like we will, if the problem was specific to our personal life. The three ingredients needed are

Self belief – If every individual views herself/ himself as an insignificant, powerless and not influential, there is no way the person will attempt to solve problems. On the other hand, begin by owning the problem and viewing it as a personal problem. Now the scale of the problem is one, within each one’s circle of control. You see yourself needing to solve the problem. All of sudden you realize that you can make a difference, that you are amply empowered and sufficiently influential to at least mitigate, the problem around you. One must see what one can do and not worry about what the neighbors or the society at large is doing. Do your mite and be an influencer. Over time you will become a champion of the cause and possibly even be able to wield power over those around to toe the line.

Initiative – Most times we seek to do something significant. We keep searching for that opportunity. The real opportunity actually is in doing your mite, within your circle of influence and setting an example. Start small. Grow confidently. Set the tone for others to be in sync. Problems are solved only by appropriate action. Why wait for others to rope you in. Why don’t you begin and rope others in to your vision. Lead by example. Nothing major or path breaking to be done; merely demonstrate what you feel and want others to follow. Do not get discouraged by criticism or by naysayers. Use their negativity as the fuel to propel yourself into channelizing your self-belief and turn it into demonstrable results.

Persistence Starting is relatively easy. It is to continue, that is enormously tough. At times, one feels that one is pursuing a hopeless cause. Other times the progress is so slow that one is tempted to throw in the towel. Of course, the nay sayers, the pessimists, the critics and those with vested interests would keep sending negative messages; thus making one have self doubts. One needs to find a motivation to keep going. Ideally the goal in itself must provide the motivation. However, it helps to visualize the progress made, the obstacles overcome, keeping the critics at bay for each such milestone adds motivation and enthuses one to persist with passion.

Try these:

  • What is the one social problem that you notice around you about which you are passionately concerned? What have you done about it so far? What is your next step to get involved in solving it?
  • What are the three positive qualities you posses? How will you use those qualities to make a difference to the immediate environment around you or use it for a cause close to your heart?
  • Read up on Manhji – Mountain Man ( ) and / or see the movie by the same name.

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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