A Publication of WTVP

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi

The world is driven by change. There are many people who want to change themselves and the world. If you are one of them, where do you start? We start within ourselves, reshaping our concepts of the world we have known into the ones we want to know.

Design the Blueprint
Making a list is helpful in changing our world. It is similar to designing a blueprint to build a house or writing a draft for a speech. Do we have anything negative that could bring us down? Recognizing stumbling blocks and turning them into stepping stones can transform our lives.

Find a comfortable spot and begin by making a list of what you want in your life. Without a list, we might be listless. Make a plan for tomorrow, the week after and three months from now. Writing down our vision reinforces it and keeps us focused on our goals.

When you begin to make changes in your life, there are often periods when things are not moving ahead as quickly as you would like. This is the time to bring out your list and review it. Keep your thoughts positive to keep the momentum you need to move ahead. When you make a commitment to transform your life, the road may be rough along the way, yet it is a worthy journey. The experiences you have today will impact you in such a way that you will awaken changed tomorrow. A wiser you will be standing.

Change can be desired on a number of levels. In business, we might be looking to be a more effective employee, manager or leader. This will entail adapting how we deal with people by improving our motivational and communication skills. Change might mean a new career, lifestyle or relationship. It might mean building more confidence and self-esteem or learning how to be more diplomatically assertive.

Discovering and affirming the role you want to play in your life is an important and necessary component in navigating these times of personal development, professional growth and world change. The significant problems we face cannot be solved on the same level of thinking as when we created them. This inside-out approach to change means exploring and reconsidering your paradigms, your character and your motives.

If, for example, your sales team is not performing up to budget and you are having a difficult time motivating them towards success, consider what a highly motivated and successful sales team looks like. Consider what your role would be in achieving that goal. Who would you be? How would you function? How would you feel? The gap between where you are now and where you want to be is where your work or opportunity for growth begins.

Are your values and passions aligned with your job and its requirements? After some serious introspective inquiry, you might discover what is called for in motivating your sales team. Perhaps it will consist of more patience, more enthusiasm, more nurturing or more of a team atmosphere.

If being successful in your family or community is of great value to you, what are you willing to change—or not change—in order to succeed in these arenas? Are you willing to manage your time differently? To what are you willing to say yes, and more importantly, to what are you willing to say no? By saying no to some situations, we say yes to others.

Be the Example
Your outer world will change as you change your inner world. This ongoing process will be your anchor in the stormy seas of life. Be the example that others are willing to follow. Think about it! People tend to be hired for what they know and have done. People are often fired for their personal insufficiencies—lack of focus, lack of courage, inability to communicate and get along with others, or inability to control and direct their own energies effectively.

We are human beings first and leaders second. All great leaders have developed a high degree of self-mastery. They know that to inspire themselves and others to extraordinary heights, they must first transform themselves. This is the hardest, yet most enriching and enduring work that can be done. Interpersonal competence, the art of being able to lead and deal with people in a brilliantly effective manner, begins with personal awareness and inner change. The more mastery we have over ourselves, the more mastery we bring to life.

Ask yourself, truthfully, what percentage of your leadership potential are you fulfilling right now? Could you be more effective with less effort? Can you turn crisis into opportunity? Do you provide “teachable moments” for yourself and those around you? How will you inspire yourself to move others through what lies ahead? How clear are you about your life purpose? Keep that list handy!

Continuing to list and identify your strengths upon which you may build gives you a deep sense of fulfillment. Write a personal mission statement. Develop your mission to express the core and essence of who you are. Unleash your capacity and potential to inspire powerful change. Bring all of who you are to everything you do.

Each day is new, so daily we must think anew and act anew. As you make the commitment and embrace the challenge of mastering yourself by developing the real you, you reinforce your ability to live your life with greater meaning and purpose. By taking concrete steps to transform yourself, you create the opportunities to increase productivity and profitability in business; build and sustain fulfilling professional and personal relationships; and positively change yourself, your business, your community and the world! iBi

Edith Barnard is an executive speech writer, success coach and motivational speaker from Peoria. For more information, visit