So You Want To Change The World?

So you want to change the world, right? Do you want to be a hero? A legend?

I work with a lot of talented and driven individuals. A common theme for the younger generations is the notion of wanting to change or save the world. It is a beautiful intention, one that we should consider in our own life's purpose.

Many of us are driven to be a hero and be someone who makes a significant difference in a world of 6.8 billion. But how can one person, one single entity create such change in a world so big?! Very easily...

The Game

An exercise I created portrays this simple feat. First, go to a populated venue that fosters the opportunity for connection. This exercise is best in places such as museums, art galleries, malls, and shopping centers; however with some creativity this can be done anywhere.

When you're there, simply smile at every single person possible (but don't be annoying!). Walk around the location functioning as you normally would for whatever setting is chosen. However make the time to connect with anyone and everyone you can. A simple nod and smile can be enough.

Become more aware of your energy. What are you carrying? What are you sharing with their environment?

Eye contact and a genuine love for others can create an energy that is uncommon in these times. Try it. I walk along the beach with my dog, and most people seemingly avoid connecting with others. It's actually quite hilarious watching people go out of their ways to avoid a personal connection. In grocery stores or post offices, most seem to mind their own business. However there are some who are always trying to find a connection with their environment. Find them. :)

But as soon as you say hello or smile at someone with connected eyes, people seem to brighten and become more engaged.

After this exercise, ask yourself how you feel/felt. How did smiling and saying hello to others change your own energy and emotions? How did it affect their environment and the energy of others? Were you able to change others? What were their reactions?

The Prize

Some report a certain amount of silliness and awkwardness. Of course, this is a very silly and fun exercise. But it comes with a simple wisdom and truth. If this exercise was done correctly, there was at least one stranger that benefited from this. Your smile and search for connection beckoned someone else to smile as well.

For one moment you were able to bring a small bit of joy into the stranger's day. Imagine this. If one stranger was able to smile, perhaps that person will go on in the day to make someone else smile. This progression has the possibility of reaching countless others... a concept very similar to doing one good deed that puts into motion many more good deeds as we spread love in our environments.

Reality's Game

Truth of the matter is... you have already changed the world. You do so by just existing. Every choice you make creates some sort of change. The question is... do you change the world for better or for worse?

Come to peace with the fact that perhaps changing the world may simply be extending a loving gesture to a stranger. And that stranger is the one who ends up creating amazing epic change in the world. Maybe your next client will become an author who shares enlightened knowledge. Or the next new friend will be a great leader of mankind. If you are able to love unconditionally and share your gifts, you will have made a difference. And in the end, you will have played my role in saving/changing the world.

Changing the world does not need to be an epic adventure of heroic feats. It can simply be raising your child with love and wisdom. It may be lending a helping hand to someone that has fallen, or perhaps providing others with some emotional or financial support.

Every time you curse the driver next to you, you have created a change in that person's day. Every time you hold open a door or help carry a heavy box, you have also created change.

Creating change in the world is that simple. But the mindfulness to know how you change your environment is the tricky part. So first ask yourself what kind of change are you driven for?

If you want to change the world for the better, consider these points.

  • Be Mindful of Your IntentionsWhy are you doing what are you doing? What drives you? Keep your intentions pure. Don't do things expecting a reward or compensation. If you expect some sort of reward, you would taint your unadulterated nature.
  • Be Aware of Your Own EnergyKnow yourself. Become aware of your emotions and how your spirit affects those around. In what ways do people react in your presence? How are you perceived in your world? How do you create your own demons, insecurities and fears in your life? Are you your best friend and worst enemy? This knowledge will assist you in personal evolution.
  • Know How Other's Energy Affects YouWhen you are aware of your energy, you will be able to differ your energy from the energy of others. Once you master this, you can easily see how the littlest of actions can create big change. These subtle exchanges of energy create physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Most of the time, we are not aware of these exchanges. When we are aware, we can allow only positive exchanges rather than ones that drain us. You will embrace your fears, and will not own the fears of others.
  • Humble YourselfMaybe you are meant for epic change. Maybe you are not. But remove your ego from this journey. It will not serve you. Humble yourself so that you can clear your energy and intentions. There is no room for bravado and cockiness. Be at peace knowing that changing the world is and can be a simple daily act. You are the Whale, but yet also the Ant.
  • DreamThough change can be simple, allow yourself to dream and create, and remember your dreams. Look at your tools and allies. What can you do that most have difficult doing? What are you good at? What tools do you have in your arsenal that can create a better life for someone else?

You may have money that you can donate to worthwhile causes. You may be a great wood worker that can build houses for others. Your gift may be of words or song that needs to be heard. Create visual images and film that prompt consciousness. Collaborate and think big.

We all have to play our parts. So let's go be heroes.

How do you change the world? How will you change the world?

Written by MonkJoe. MonkJoe holds a MA in Psyc and is the Soul behind MonkMe, a socio-educational wellness community dedicated to personal, social, and environmental health topics. Join now or follow him on Twitter or Facebook for daily mojo and challenges. For every new member, MonkJoe will donate $1 to his 1st Charity Cause. So Get Monk'd!

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57 Responses to So You Want To Change The World?

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  3. Led Retrofit says:

    I want to change the world sounds noble enough but with the fluff in between these covers.

  4. Farouk says:

    I gree rod, one doesn’t have to change the whole world, only the people he comes across, nice principle :)

  5. Can I just say how much I LOVE this game of smiling at and talking to random strangers? I’m a recent college grad and one thing I have found common among ALL of my friends is this sense of loneliness and isolation after you leave college. It starts when you enter the working world and move out on your own. All of a sudden, your social circle can seem very small. Being kind and friendly to strangers is one way to make connections as well as feel more like a member of this world. The truth is you’re not alone and we all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. So get out of your comfort zone, say hello to a stranger, be kinder to others, and be happy with yourself! That is a surefire way to change your immediate surroundings.

  6. Coach J says:

    I really enjoyed this post. As a person who is deadset on changing the world is some small way (I subscribe to the whole “think global, act local” idea), I sometimes forget that I can make small changes just by being mindful. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Valerie M says:

    I love this post, MonkJoe. This “game” reminds me of a commercial I saw where one good deed led to another in a domino effect. I think it was Allstate or one of the insurance companies, but I’m not sure. I definitely agree, it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone. Not only does it benefit someone else who needs the connection but it benefits you as well.

  8. Diggy says:

    It’s amazing what you can do with a simple smile. Sometimes you can totally make someone’s day.

    I heard about something similar to your smile suggestion, but instead of smiling it was yawning. Get into a busy bus and slowly start yawning. With a bit of practice you can get tens of people in the bus to all start yawning, it’s pretty funny:)


  9. Ramesh Raghuvanshi says:

    It is impossible to change the world. We must try our best to change our self.I know by my own experiences that we cannot change our self it is very difficult,but we must constantly try to change our bad habit,our weak point, and increase our ability .

  10. Anand says:

    Really motivational !! to get more motivation ..

  11. It is quite funny to see people avoiding these connections with each other but on another level really deeply saddening. I find it useful to just look lovingly and presently into each persons eyes as I connect with their soul that is also a part of me.

  12. MonkJoe says:

    Thanks for your comment. Socializing with people right after college is a quite a transition from what your used to but with just a simple smile you can make a difference in your mood and your actions towards others will be more thoughtful and create positive change.

  13. MonkJoe says:

    I wish you good luck in changing the world for the better good. Even a small positive change in your eyes can make a huge impact on someone else.

  14. MonkJoe says:

    Great call on the commercial but its actually for Liberty Mutual :) Its gives people a visual reference to what this article is all about. You can view it here

  15. MonkJoe says:

    Yawning is contagious but not as contagious as laughter and a smile. LOL :)

  16. Simon says:

    Great call on the commercial but its actually for Liberty Mutual :) Its gives people a visual reference to what this article is all about. You can view it here

  17. limewire says:

    dang sweet stuff man.

  18. prom gowns says:

    interesting post,thx for sharing!

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  20. You are a very thought provoking blogger. This is a nice website.

  21. Fleas says:

    I believe that the world can’t change, but you can change how you view the world.

  22. Nareshkulchandani says:

    it’s been ease to think big-bigger but………if u wanna really big then start with a tiny-little  confident things that driven absolute biggest ever…..

  23. cubbycake says:

    i really and always wanted to be a person that really changed thwe world for example:thurgood marshall,rosa parks and martin luther king jr. and have a bunch a reasons if i do change the world it would mean alot to me and others.

                                                             9 yrs. old
                                                                      dec.8 2011  
                                   -even if i dont change the world, i will still remeber this day-

  24. cubbycake says:

    i really and always wanted to be a person that really changed thwe world for example:thurgood marshall,rosa parks and martin luther king jr. and have a bunch a reasons if i do change the world it would mean alot to me and others.

                                                             9 yrs. old
                                                                      dec.8 2011  
                                   -even if i dont change the world, i will still remeber this day-

  25. Bobby... says:

    I may be 20 years old, but my life has been a stream of challenges, know how, leassons on ppl and theire wais, I’ve travelled all over canada, and without sympathy, comprehention and impathy i would not know how else to live!
    i have the heart to do what i say, and do it proudely

  26. Luis Enrique64 says:


  27. Luis Enrique64 says:


  28. Youngyefc says:

    there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way as you do, we are the good people and we far out weigh the bad people. just stay the person you are

  29. Light says:

    One person can change the world as long as they dont care who takes the credit.

  30. Light says:

    One person can change the world as long as they dont care who takes the credit.

  31. Drgreenthumbx1 says:

    Changing the world…. Most people would think it as unrealistic I am 19 years old but I have been thinking this way since I was very young. I believe that change can happen and that we need to believe in ourselves for that change to happen. But no one man can change the world we have get people to listen to what we have to say. That is the hard part. Most people only want to change the world so they themselves can be remembered. And not for the better of mankind we are no different from one another but for change to happen we need to stop thinking about ourselves and the ways we can preserve our own name and start thinking about how we can preserve countless of lifes.

  32. Evan says:

    I think that the best reward we can get out of anything is all the thankfullness we can brighten someones day by opening a door and then if we hear a thank you it encourages us to keep up our smile because we pleased someone. I have had a reasonably easy life whereas people around me and the ones I love have been abused by their own family and when I hear this it is very saddening and I wish I could take their burdens.
    I was having a depressing day but reading this is great and brightend up my day thank you

  33. Pushpak Mehta says:

    Terrific article. Very simple yet amazingly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Momochan_andu says:

    I am very concerned about the world we live in as well, seeing how humans in general become individualists and materialists. I want to make a change also, but even if I help someone daily or if I make a good deed now and then, it’s not enough for me. I am 17, and I never was the typical child, who has a common dream, like becoming a doctor, or a race driver, astronaut… I always wanted to do something big, important, and as I got older, my dream started to take shape, and it was based on a change. I know that the world seems like it’s about to crumble and that it’s not going anywhere good, but hope dies last, and my hope right now rellies on people who share this way of thinking. People like you. I want a bigger change, I don’t really have a plan, neither resources which could aid me in this quest, but i have more hope and determination than ever seeing that there are others out there, like me, who are eager to make a stand, to make their point. I hope someday, somehow, one of us will be able to achieve a change, a significant one, one that will inspire others in a great way, one that will set the course of our future on a better path. I am willing to fight for this dream, even if that may represent a work of a lifetime, but one of us has the duty to do something. I really hope that there was a way to prove ourselves in front of others, so that we could gather, talk, connect woth each other so we can make our dreams happen.

  35. dreamaria says:

    I’ve been looking for an answer like this for years. I wish and I want to change the world (absolutely not to be a hero), because I know it is possible. I’ve been told that I think too big, when I tell people  I want to change the world. But what I mean is just, if everyone wanted this, or believed it were possible, we would be so much closer to a change. It’s hard to see people saying they want the world to change too, but they just don’t believe in it, so they just forget about it. I’ve cried my eyes out over this more than once in the 21 years I’ve been on this planet, as if I’ve seen the worst things, but I haven’t, I just know terrible things happen and that makes me sick. This ‘game’ of smiling I’ve tried before, and it really works for a beginning!

  36. Teófilo says:

    since I have the porpouse of change the world am I allready changing it, because everybody is in their  inner part really willing to do it, the only question that you and the other are waiting for is that somebody make a proposition in this way and I have it would you like to know it? I have a route map to a new world for you unimaginable.

  37. joejyojo says:

    so true…

  38. joejyojo says:

    You are an Indigo child.

  39. aerandirnarsil says:

    Indeed. I concur.

    There is something more.
    My whole life I wonder, wtf am i doing here…
    This is such a waste of time…
    What is the reason of all of this? To teach us?

    Why all of this is so stupid. Based on money and greed.
    Why our spiritual and technological evolution is going so frakin slow…

    As if we were blocked by something. As if our brain was limited by something.
    We use only a small part of our brain… why? How would it be – if we will use 100% of it, how can we do that?

    I wish that a particle of inspiration – traversing through universe, stick in to my brain causing an explosion, like a nuke – illuminating all neurons web, like supernova in my brain…

    Why we live to dominate instead share. Why we scream and argue without a reason, why we seek to prove somebody is wrong even if we don’t have right/reason, why can’t we enjoy if somebody opens our eyes, and shows another point of view, why can’t we let go if its right?

    There is always so many questions, and only a few answers… :(

    As a nation, we should be now far far ahead. We shouldn’t destroy ourselves and our planet, we shouldn’t kill, rape, steal and cheat. We shouldn’t act like a frakin monkeys in the jungle…

    But we have a free will… And those who are blind and stupid can/will do whatever they want. They don’t care… They can and will kill, rape, steal and cheat. Because they do not need anything more, they cannot do anything more, they don’t give a f…k. And this is sad… And that hurts…

    Someone said “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.” but this is not simple, you have to face opportunity, you have to be in a right place on the right time.

    Someone said “People… above all – they desire power…” How can we change they way of thinking…?
    There are many people on this world, that have power. Many just don’t care, even if they were good and had good intentions, when they started to make money, something has been broken, and they become different people. Closed people. Blind people. Maybe bored people… They will die and the only thing that rest will remember will be that they was rich. Rich… and what… and nothing, at leas nothing important in global scale…

    We can try to do some little changes, some small things, but it will take forever… and it might be too late someday… :(

    If you want to change something, if you want to help, if you want to be good, you need a lot of money…
    It’s sad – that we have made our world based on this, on money. We could do almost everything we want, we can create everything we want, but without money we cannot do anything… we cannot give poor food and water, we cannot cure, we cannot stop pollution, we cannot create things that will not damage our planet but helps to rebuilt it.
    If only all those millionaires, billionaires, corporations, companies unite together, they can do anything they want. They can change anything they want. They can create anything they want, they can be above all countries, presidents, and all people. They can stop shitty things. They can rule and create and delete all that crap.
    Someone said “This universe is vast… and we are so small… – there is really only one thing we can ever truly control… -whats that? – either we are good, or evil…” – They just need to pick to be good. To help.

    To create not for profit but for perfection of creation.
    It will not take much time to jump on another level.

    They will probably not make much money on this action, (however there is also a chance they will) but they will have a real, good, true power. Positive power. I believe there is a way to connect desire for power, which lays in our nature, with making good. They could rule the world wisely. Only if we will be on a higher level of thinking, cause there will always be a individual that will ruin every plan, idea, initiative, – because of desire for power…

    Maybe we are just too young for some things, and we have to learn much more to achieve that next level. But why it takes so long, how can we accelerate it…? Can we?

  40. Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'” In the words of Kurt Vonnegut you are not alone. The dreamers, the thinkers, the lovers, the creators and explorers you are not alone. To anyone who sees the direction mankind is heading and knows their is something deeply wrong, you are not alone. We must come together and realize we are not alone and begin to change the future for the sake of all humanity.

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  42. MBL says:

    The secret. < great book. Pay it forward < great organization. I think big. The best people do.

  43. Pen says:

    All I want is for people to be…more humane. Love everything and everyone! I only want the best for others, but what i sometimes get back is what is discouraging me.

    Sometimes I feel used for being too generous. That’s the part I can’t handle. Absolutely hate it when I do something, and try my absolute best, and what do i get in return. People whispering behind my back “There’s that stupidly naive person who will do anything for me if I just pretend I like him”.

    And I get the classic speach: “no-one really cares, you should just get out there and take what you need. Be more non-acceptant to others, demand more from others because thats what they do from you.Thats how you get somewhere in this world”

    But in my meaning, doing these things only go against what I really do want.

    How do I get away from stuff like that.

  44. Nicole says:

    Thank you.

  45. Autumn Cobb says:

    I recently decided that i wuna make a change in other peoples life but i relize i have to do the same for myself . I wunt to.. matter fact im going to travel the world and see wat god has to offer me but can that b a carrer ? Even if its not i wuna learn about how people live n the way they mite look at somethings diffrent then us americans do ,i wunt to dig deep in their heritages n experience all the good they have to offer . People have helped me all my life so why cant i do the same? :)

  46. John Ritchey says:

    You said this 5 months ago and I want to know where you’re at now. My name is John Ritchey and id love to talk to you and hear your ideas. Find me on Facebook, YouTube anything you can so we can talk.

  47. John Ritchey says:

    Check out my channel for my views on this subject. I spend hours looking for inspiration, information

  48. Shane says:

    Couldn’t have said it better.

  49. Robert says:

    I already know this. A smile will brightens anyone day including talking with them but, in truth I want to do more then this. I want to change the worlds system. So many people are devoured by hate,corruption, and vengeance. It is time for someone to stand up against all this malice and take it all for themselves but, I do like this article. So nice job!

  50. hollowleg says:

    Very inspiring post! Thank you. I agree, we’re all moving parts of a big system and if each of us contribute in our small individual ways, it adds up. It’s safe to say that there is strength in numbers. We all have different approaches to how we want to spark or support change in the world. I started my company for example with that in mind –I hope to add to the constantly growing reservoir of tools and inspiration that our generation is cultivating. And to help others better explore themselves and the world around them. I’m appreciative of others in the world who are working to spread ideas and tools for similar reasons, so cheers to this article!

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