Making a Difference in the World – 2 Meanings

When you were younger and highly spirited, you were full of idealism and great expectation. You wanted to change the world. It was your belief that there could be something better than what you were already experiencing.

As you grew older, your desire to make a difference in the world did not waver. There was no time to despair because hopelessness was not an option. You pushed yourself and went through the length of honing your skills; as a matter of fact, you even learned new ones. Time was of the essence and wasting it was not acceptable.

Hopeful Young Man

But what is it really that you want to achieve? What kind of difference do you really want to make? Why do you want to change the world and what is it that you what to change about?

The sayings “I want to change the world” and “I want to make a difference in the world” are practically the same. The person saying them wants to do something outrageous that can in fact change the course of what is going on in his/her life (and in his/her community).

Here is the thing, people who desire to make a difference or want to change the world have varying degrees of intention and purpose. In this article, I have classified them into 2.

1. You want to standout among the rest

Sometimes, the man or woman who desires about changing the world is someone who is motivated by ambition. This person feels that he/she is the best or needs to be the best and the people around him/her must see it that way. This person thinks that he/she alone has the capacity to “save the world” and turn it into his/her image of beauty and paragon. He/She sees people not as the beneficiaries of his/her goal, but as tools to attain it.

“I want to be rich. I want to be successful. I want to be famous. I will standout among others, because I am the best. The world is broken until I have fulfilled my ambitions.”

Is this your idea of making a difference in the world?

2. You just want to help and make the lives of people better

Altruism is a trait difficult to practice, yet I believe it is a quality that is intrinsic in every human being. The thing is, it is often buried deep inside because of trauma and sensations of fleeting pleasures.

A person who has this view of making a difference in the world may also have the longing to be rich and successful, a bit similar to what was described in item #1. He/She will do his best to attain such state, but his/her difference from #1 on the list is that he/she sees it as mere means to achieve the real goal. This person feels the essence of using material wealth, power, and the influence that success brings to help his/her loved ones (and other people) who need to improve their lots.

People who want to change the world and make a difference with this kind of thinking will normally shun away from popularity. Yet, if they do enjoy fame inevitably, they will use it to boost their influence and bolster their cause.

Here is your surprising caveat: Do not think these people are the ones being liked and praised by everyone. Sometimes (if not most of the time) such folks are misunderstood, their intentions are doubted, and their actions are reviled. You may even accuse them of being fake, that they have skeletons inside their closets and they are “making a difference in the world” to conceal their ulterior motives.

How do you want to change the world?

It is sad that most people see altruistic men and women as phonies, implying that being real and true means being rude and doing bad deeds. No wonder altruism has the tendency to be hidden and left buried deep inside of people.

Let's admit it, changing the world is not at all easy and making a difference will entail a lot of obstacles. Here is something you can do, though, and it is sitting right next to you – that loved one or friend who needs you, surely you can make a difference in his/her world too.

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