Change Begins Within

By Jesslyn Lai|15-09-2017 | 1 Min Read

Why and how belief can be the biggest factor

You’ve heard it. “Change the world”, they say. “Do something big”, “Make an impact”.

“But how?” we ask. Sometimes the hardest people to change are our immediate circle of friends or the community in which we live, and sometimes that’s exactly where the greatest change starts.

We live in a generation that seek to make a difference, to do something big and to make an impact. There are many uprising initiatives and movements that open platforms for opportunities to do something good and to make a change.

They are a great start to bring awareness, to look to serve a greater community rather than just our personal doings, as they encourage everybody to want to be a change agent.

But after being inspired, we face the real world again and everything seem to be the same – the same streets with trash outside of the trash cans, and fast drivers that don’t use their indicators when changing lanes.

And inevitably at some points, we have been one of them – whether or not – we were aware of it. Do we really believe in the change we hope to make? How do we make it happen?

It is possible that we put so much of our focus on those big community projects that we miss out the small things we do during every ‘uncounted’ moment. The moments when no one is looking, in our ordinary day-to-day living. Those are the real precious ones.

To get to this, we have to be courageous enough to dig deeper to the root of where it begins – within. What is our motive for making a difference?

By wanting to make an impact, is it the real change we are investing in, or are we doing them for the short-term effects and measuring them based on how visibly ‘successful’ those projects are?

If we don’t check ourselves, we can get tricked into doing all the good stuff but not necessarily reflecting on a deeper personal change.

That is why sometimes the ones closest to us are more accountable gauges of our real change, because they are the ones who experience us first-hand. Likewise, those around us displaying admirable traits of change ripple onto us.

Here’s how some of the simple little things impacted me.

When a friend I looked up to made it a point to clear up our tables after we’d had our meal instead of leaving it to the cleaner, it inspired me to do the same.

When another friend troubled himself to the supermarket’s main counter to return the extra 10 cents that was accidentally miscounted for the change by the cashier, it taught me the value of integrity.

When I experienced painful corrections from my parents whose intention were out of love and concern, I found the treasure of wisdom.

When accountable friends told me things I didn’t want to hear, I valued that wounds from a friend are better than fluffy words that serve no greater end.

But beyond that, to be willing to admit that we too are prone to make mistakes and be receptive to change will instil a growth mindset that will help towards establishing a better version of ourselves.

It will be uncomfortable to go through the furnace, but it is the heat we go through that helps purify the gold.

I believe that as we grow to be more and more aware and intentional of our own personal change for the better, it will slowly be reflected in our interactions with the lives of those around us in our daily encounters.

And as others experience the genuine love and sincere motives displayed in us, they too may be touched by these little impacts and pay them forward.

And as this happens, it will lead to a more loving community for us to live in. If a country is made of communities, then I believe that that is Malaysia to us – the very place that we live in.

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Jesslyn serves the creative visual needs in Leaderonomics, while occasionally expressing her heart through art at TheMakerJess.
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