OK, changing the world may not be accomplished in five simple steps. But I will share a story on how the power of one can change the world, five rules you can follow and I will post a challenge for you. Ready?
First I have a confession to make. I am a nerd. I love to read, learn, research, write and teach. I don’t think many people know this about me, but when I was a kid, I used to read the encyclopedia for fun. I guess it was the prehistoric version of Web surfing and I would spend hours reading on topics that were interesting and memorizing all kinds of useless information. Having disclosed that, I can say that it was no different when I was in college. I loved learning and couldn’t ask enough questions. Fortunately, my classmates were the same way. One time we even requested they reassigned a teacher because we had all As and didn’t learn anything.
My major was Special Education and the more I learned, the more I got convinced that we had to influence the parents so we could prevent many of the issues we were dealing with in their children. I came up with this idea of putting together a conference to give parents up-to-date information on how to better respond to the needs of children with learning disabilities. I got my classmates excited about the possibility and we got a leadership team together. We set a date and a budget, we marked the milestones we needed to accomplish and divided the tasks. However, most of my classmates were skeptical and scared. We will never be able to accomplish that! We don’t know enough about it! Who is going to support us? Most of them came from a background where their education at home and school taught them they were not smart enough or important enough. My education at home and school prepared me to be an influencer and a leader.
To make a very long story short, we accomplished our task. The First (and only) Annual Conference for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities was a success. We got corporate sponsorship, a very nice facility, free radio ads and radio interviews, volunteer speakers (who also happened to be our teachers) and good participation in the breakout sessions that followed the talks. Ironically, I got sick with mumps and was not able to attend. We certainly didn’t make any money, but didn’t lose any either.
The success was that my classmates, our teachers and even our parents witnessed the power of a dream come true and they all changed their minds about the limits we set for ourselves.
You can also change the world if you follow these rules:
- Eliminate “who am I to…” from your vocabulary.
- Dreams are contagious, spread them!
- Look for resources in unexpected places (we did a stake out at a very popular radio station, caught a very famous radio host on a break, handed him a flyer for our event and he mentioned it on air for free.) •
- Make a plan and be prepared for the unexpected (like the mumps)
Here is your challenge: – Write down a dream that you’ve thinking about for a while. Answer some questions like:
1.Why do I want to do this?
2.Who are the right people to help me?
3.What tasks do I need to accomplish?
4.When do I expect to complete my project?
5.How will I measure my success?
Now, would you share what the name of your dream is? Mark your calendar so you can come back and share with us when you complete it.
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