I never thought I was going to change the world. Like many of you, I grew up in a small town with typical parents and an ordinary childhood.
If you were to tell me I was going to build a multi-million dollar company, feed thousands of children, rescue girls from sex trafficking, or dig wells for villages in Africa, everyone (including me) would have laughed.
I never expected to be on the covers of magazines, appear on national T.V., or keynote to thousands of employees at companies like Facebook, Adobe, or Panasonic. But that’s often how life works. The ordinary become the extraordinary. The secret is knowing how to see the signs, how to discover what you were designed for, and how to shift from desire to doing.
So on that note, I’m going to share with you three signs you’re meant to change the world.
1. REMEMBER WHO YOU WERE BEFORE THE WORLD TOLD YOU WHO YOU SHOULD BE
I was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga California. I was a small boy who loved baseball and bonfires. A cub scout for adventure and a heart for helping those around me. But something changed as I grew older… for some reason, I believed I had to change my identity to find my calling. As if who I was equaled an incapable or unworthy person.
I journeyed down this path as a social chameleon for years. Becoming all things to all people. I would change my clothes, conversations, habits and hobbies all in hopes to impress those around me.
But I learned this: Life is the most difficult exam of all. Many people fail because they try to copy others not realizing everyone is answering different questions.
It was this moment I realized becoming who I once was, was better than becoming someone else.
I realized the real me, the little boy from my past was not just capable, but qualified to change the world. I turned to what I knew was true of my heart and my hands. I loved to build and to elevate others. I loved charity, children, and big change. But I needed my passion to become a profession.
It was this adjustment that cured the brokenness of my pursuit and healed the heart behind it. It was the beginning of the real Dale, the birth of wisdom, and the start of what I was meant to do.
The lesson is this: You are worthy how you are. Your uniqueness is actually vital to your life’s mission. If you change you, you might miss your calling. Nobody was intended to become someone else in order to find their purpose. Quit the false you and step into the adventure you were made for.
2. DON’T PRAY FOR AN EASY LIFE; PRAY FOR THE STRENGTH TO ENDURE A DIFFICULT ONE
As an entrepreneur, whether I was building Sevenly, StartupCamp or even my Rock Climbing Gym, I was confronted with the weight of grueling responsibility. To bear the stresses, emotions, and fears of the organization. To know the bad news, the hard news, and the reality while having an unshakable vision for fulfilling our mission.
On multiple occasions, I remember walking outside of my home around 2 am to sit in the grass and weep. The pressure on certain days was just too heavy. Then in the midst of reading the biography of Theodore Roosevelt, I came across this statement:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Changing the world is not for the faint of heart. It’s for people crazy enough to step into the pain. They carry a courage that makes people question their sanity and a focus that leads others to follow them.
The lesson is this: Turn toward the pain, the fear, and the difficulties. The road for world change is riddled with bandits, potholes, speedbumps, and accidents but the destination is even greater than one can imagine. To operate in sync with your dreams and to stand at the end of your existence with the confidence your life left a dent in time.
3. DOUBT IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN UNCERTAINTY
Uncertainty is a permanent part of the World Changer’s landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership.
Your capacity as a world changer will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. But remember, it’s not our responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It’s our responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of it.
As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear.
People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. The individual who can communicate the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader.
It comes down to this: Clarity is perceived as leadership. Clarity is required for world change.
The lesson is this: Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Changing the world doesn’t require you to have perfect clarity, but it does require you to express your uncertainty with confidence. To convince those who are following you that clarity is coming and debilitating fear is not part of your equation.
At the center of today’s lesson remains this truth: You can’t change the world if you can’t change yourself.
If a fire burns in your chest to solve an issue, to influence a movement, to rework the norm, or to even alter the very mindset of the known; you must remember change begins with you.
As world changers, we can afford to be broken, but we cannot afford to be immature. People will follow your vision in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unaware of your weaknesses. As a leader, you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully growing, or you will forever stand still.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
Do you want to become a captivating leader? Maybe you’re a new entrepreneur or dreamer. Or maybe you own a small business already. If you’re looking for a practical guide with timeless principles that never fade, principles that push for a healthy type of success, one with integrity, honor, and respect, consider my program below.
What are your thoughts? Was this information useful on your journey to unearth your purpose? Let me know in the comments below.