Philosophy of Everyday Life: How can I change the world with my actions?

In answer to Quora question: "Philosophy of Everyday Life: How can I change the world with my actions?"

First of all thank you Aditya for the A2A, and for your willingness and openness to engage this question; I believe that is the first step in creating effective agency in the world, and you've already taken it. Other thoughts that flow out from this one are:

1) Have clarity. About your beliefs, values and intentions.

2) Have integrity. Aim to have as many of your thoughts, words and actions align with your values and beliefs as possible.

3) Cultivate patience and endurance. Becoming an agent for change is a long, difficult road that requires as much compassion and caring for yourself as it does discipline and generosity towards others.

4) Decide on a central, guiding intentionality for all of your efforts. What will govern your actions? Have a specific goal in mind. For example, demonstrating charitable lovingkindness in every interaction, or generating the greatest good for the greatest number for the greatest duration, or becoming an example of how to live in harmony with others and the Earth so that others may observe and benefit, and so on.

5) Know that how you relate to your own mind, body, heart, spirit and soul is the central building block for all that follows. Cultivating a constructive relationship with every aspect of yourself is a lifelong practice, and it will both help contextualize and energize everything else that you do.

6) Have a spiritual practice. This is so important. Even if you consider yourself an agnostic or secular humanist, it is essential to appreciate, cultivate and nurture your spiritual dimension in some way. It is also a very useful avenue to facilitate #7....

7) Fall in love with everyone and everything. And by "love" I mean agape, as an unconditional compassionate affection that drives and informs all skillful action.

8-) Enlarge your supportive community. Find people who share and celebrate your values, with whom you can open your heart and mind, and with whom you can share your journey. And of course this is as much about finding ways to support others in their efforts as it is about finding resources to support your own.

9) Be ready to change course. Allow new information, experiences and ideas to reshape your thinking and efforts in fluid ways. Along these lines, make sure you have honest, fiercely loving people in your life who can remind you of your mission...and of when you may be drifting off-course...even when you aren't receptive!

10) Let go. Appreciate that the ultimate outcomes of your efforts may not be known for a very long time - perhaps not even in your lifetime - and detach yourself from fixed expectations. This is a tough one, but it is necessary because our ego can become too wrapped up in what we're doing, how important we are, etc. And that will just impede our flexibility and skillfulness. So....just let go.

My 2 cents. I'm happy to follow up if you have questions about any of these points.


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