6 Practical Ways to Change the World For the Better

by Harleena Singh  -

I’ve often heard that there are many ways to change the world, but the question is – who will change it and why? Moreover, what’s wrong with the world as it is?
I know this question will come up in the minds of many people. Am I right?
Well, all I can say is that the world can be a better place, and if it can, then why not try for it – isn’t it? I mean a world without or with as few problems as possible. Some would still be least bothered to read this post because it’s about the world and not them.
That’s where they first need to change their way of thinking. As far as you’re living in the world, its problems are yours and you’re responsible for them in some way or the other.
Every individual needs to be concerned with the problems of the world, take initiative, and actively participate to solve them.
In reality, we’re so engrossed in our own lives and tuned to the world that everything appears to be normal and reasonable to us. We’ve become habituated to the problems that we face and have adjusted ourselves to things that we think we cannot change.
You might say that if you’ve opted to reconcile then why do I’ve a problem with that.
Well, that’s exactly the problem. Why should you reconcile and give up your right for a better life?
You need to reconsider your assumption that you cannot change the things and your world. In fact, the truth is that you’ve all the power to change your life and the life of others. The only thing you need to do is believe in yourself, and in the cause.
But first, let’s try to understand our world better.
“Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking peace, and the message will spread quicker than you think.” --Yoko Ono

Why Do We Need to Change The World

If you look back in the past, you’d realize that the world had been plagued with problems umpteen number of times, but some or the other kind of change bailed it out.
There have been revolutions and renaissances to make the world a better place to live in, and remarkably, people like you brought them about.
Likewise, you too can find ways to change the world. However, most of you need to be convinced that the world needs a change.
I’ve listed out six major problems in the world, and I think each one of you is affected by at least one of the problems in your daily life.
As you read each problem, think if you’re affected by it and would you like it to be changed or resolved:
• Discrimination, racism, and lack of tolerance
• Increasing hatred, violence, and war
• Environment and natural resources degradation
• Epidemic of lifestyle diseases
• Poverty and decreased quality of life
• Abuse and crime against women
Our world is suffering from the above-mentioned problems and it’s not limited to just a handful of these. There are hosts of other problems that make it difficult for us to live happily and peacefully.
Now, don’t you think these are reasons enough to wake up?
If you agreed with any of these problems, then are you doing anything to resolve it – if not, then why not?
I realize that people living in the developed countries have less firsthand experience about most of these problems, and this could be a cause for their lack of involvement.
But I know of many of my friends living in the US and Europe who actively advocate and make efforts to bring a good change in the world.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” --Mahatma Gandhi
How to Change The World and Resolve Our Problems

What I’m getting at is that if we don’t force ourselves to solve our own problems, then who will?
Politicians? Government?
Yes, sure they can do a lot if they’ve the will, but those might just be the macroscopic solutions.
You can’t depend on them for your daily life harassment, problems, and sufferings. You need to take control of your own life.
As mentioned in the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, you need to “be the change” yourself that you wish to see in the world.

The change in the world starts with YOU!
If each person becomes responsible enough and takes steps to bring about a change, would it take long for the world to change? I don’t think so – do you?
Do you know that even one person can make a difference? Yes, YOU alone are enough and can make a huge difference.
There are many real life examples from around the world of people making a difference in the world all alone.
You can also do that if you follow these 6 ways.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -- Nelson Mandela

6 Ways to Change the World

It’s all about you. The change begins with you. You change yourself, you change your life, and so you help change the world. I’ve shortlisted six ways in which you can bring about change, and I’ve put them together into an acronym – I call it a SIMPLE change approach.
S – Change of Self-concept
I – Change of Intentions
M – Change of Mind
P – Change of Personality
L – Change of Lifestyle
E – Change of Emotions
It’s really simple, isn’t it?
“In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” --Jimi Hendrix

  • 1. Change Your Self-concept

Here, by self-concept I mean your beliefs and perceptions.
By changing these, you change your self-identity and self-perspective, and change what you think about yourself.
Start thinking about yourself in positive terms, and use positive affirmations to believe that you’re strong enough to lead a better life.
If you change the way you think about yourself, you’ll change the way you think about the world.
Change Tip 
Feel good about yourself and see the world with the same pair of eyes, then you’ll probably never think of discriminating people, nor of indulging in acts or thoughts of racism.

  • 2. Change Your Intentions

Intentions are the roots of your thoughts and actions.
If your intentions are good and helpful, your thoughts and actions will be accordingly good and helpful too. You’d then most likely not abuse anybody, nor commit crime against anyone.
“Never intentionally hurt others in any way” – this resolution will create a big impact and reduce the suffering in the world. With the positive change in your beliefs and perceptions, you’ll be more likely to have positive intentions that breed positivity.
Change Tip 
Always have good intentions, as the resulting actions and behavior are thoughtful and controlled, and they bring more power and value to whatever you say or do.

  • 3. Change Your Mind

I’ve written about the mind. It is responsible for your way of thinking, attitude, and outlook of life.
Once you change your mind in a positive way, you change your attitude of tolerance, discrimination, quality of life, and other aspects in favorable ways.
Tolerance is an attitude of the mind that implies non-judgmental acceptance of different lifestyles or beliefs.
Yes, tolerance is about recognizing and respecting the fact there are people of different cultures, religions, and races, and it’s okay accepting them as part of your world.
If you accept others, discrimination ends.
Change Tip 
Control and educate your mind to be happy and successful. You thereby increase your quality of life to satisfactory levels.

  • 4. Change Your Personality

By personality, I mean the personal characteristics or qualities of a person.
If you’re devoted to a good cause and determined to carry it out, you’ll undoubtedly change the world for the better.
Your perseverance and hard work will bring you closer to success, and help you overcome poverty or other miseries of life, if they exist.
It were the positive and strong personal qualities of Mahatma Gandhi that brought a change in him. Not only did his course of life change, but he was able to bring about a change in the world too.
Change Tip 
Be courageous and bring about a change. Be determined to seek justice, and be dedicated to making the world a better place to live in for the entire human race.

  • 5. Change Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is your way of living. Your health and the earth’s condition depend on the kind of lifestyle you adopt in your life.
You need to educate yourself on the effects and repercussions of your lifestyle.
Think whether what you eat, wear, and use – cause damage to yourself or your surrounding environment.
Living a faulty lifestyle can lead to the misuse and extinction of the earth’s natural resources like water, forests, and increase toxicity as well.
Instead, you need to adopt an eco-active lifestyle and make efforts to save the resources.
Be careful of what you shop, reuse and recycle. Be less dependent on material comforts that use earth’s resources and produce toxic waste or pollution, and thus reduce your carbon footprint.
Be aware that your unhealthy lifestyle consisting of lack of good food, exercise, and proper routine can make you suffer from lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and stress.
Change Tip 
Choose a lifestyle that keeps you mentally and physically healthy as well as upkeeps the natural resources and environment of the world.

  • 6. Change Your Emotions

Love is the strongest emotion that unites people in the world. Spread love through your words and actions.
If you’re kind and caring, you’ll develop gratitude and generosity towards others. As a result, there will be less hatred or other negative feelings wherever you go.
Activities based on love and harmony creates peace between people, communities, and countries. This overcomes aggression and violence, besides avoiding war.
Love is the cure of all problems. If you love yourself, you’ll love others; if you love others, you’ll love and accept their ways. And if you’re tolerant, then there will be peace all over.
Do something nice for somebody every day. Laugh, smile, be happy and remain thankful – you spread positive energy and emotions that way.
Change Tip 
Donate to charity, volunteer to help others in any big or small way, and engage yourself in random acts of kindness. You’ll be surprised to see the difference you can make to other peoples’ lives and the world this way.
Here’s a list of things you can do to change your world.
“It’s a philosophy of life. A practice. If you do this, something will change, what will change is that you will change, your life will change, and if you can change you, you can perhaps change the world.” --Vivienne Westwood
Can you remain positive, have good intentions, control your mind, be determined, live the right way, and be loving and helpful?
Well, this is in fact the crux of the SIMPLE ways to change the world, and it could be your contribution for the betterment of the world.
Remember that you as an individual are the units or building blocks of the community, society, country and the world. If the units or blocks change, the whole picture changes.
Positive change is never easy. It’s like flowing against the stream. But once you change, you find that it was worth the effort – it brings you more comfort and happiness.
After going through this post on making an attempt to change the world, are you courageous enough to take the initiative? Wouldn’t you like to be a part of a better world, and do something about it? So, let’s join hands to make this world a better place, for you, me, and everyone else. 
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” --Margaret Mead
Do you believe you can make a difference to the world? How do you think you can contribute to the betterment of the world? What are the other ways to change the world that you would suggest?

About Author: Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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Altered States: Awareness of the Dance

by Jack Kornfield -

A Principle in working with altered states can be called Awareness of the Dance. 

When such experiences arise, the practitioner’s primary responsibility is to open to the experience with a full awareness, observing and sensing it as part of the dance of our human life.

We may become frightened by altered states, so that as they arise we resist and judge them: 
  • “My body is dissolving.” 
  • “I have prickles all over.” 
  • “I’m burning up.” 
  • “I’m too cold.” 
  • “The sounds are too loud.” 
  • “My senses are too intense.” 
  • “I cannot tolerate the many inner pains or waves of energy.” 

Through fear, aversion, and misunderstanding, we can struggle with them for a long time, trying to avoid them, change them, get through them, or make them go away, and this very resistance will keep us caught in them.

Compassionate and Balanced Attention

Yet just as in beginning meditation we can learn to touch the pains and tension of the physical body with a healing and compassionate attention without resistance or grasping, so too the frightening and difficult altered states that arise can be met with the same compassionate and balanced attention. 

Just as in the beginning practice we learn to notice the seductive voices of the waiting mind without getting entangled, so too must we bring that balance awareness to the sweet and powerful seduction of rapture, lights, and visionary experiences.

Our grasping or resistance to any experience stops our practice in that spot, stops our opening to the truth. 

One student had great fear of the sense of empty space that came to her in meditation, thinking she would lose herself, go crazy or be unable to function. 

She spent two years resisting it, until in one guided meditation she finally let herself open to the fear and the space. It was marvelous. Her mind quieted, her heart softened, and her meditation opened to a new level of peace and ease.

All Part of the Dance

As we encounter new experiences with a mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same or it will get more intense. 

Whichever happens does not really matter. 

Trust in the Process

When we expand our practice to notice whatever states arise and our reactions to them, we can make them all a part of the dance. A great support for this perspective in practice is the tool we have worked with in naming what's present.

Now we can consciously name the altered states as well, “rapture, rapture,” or “vision, vision,” as a way of acknowledging what is present, noticing it and calling it by its true name. The moment we can say its name and create space for this experience to arise and pass, there comes a sense of trust in the process. 

Wisdom of the Ages

We are reconnected with the understanding that seeks not to capture an experience, we open to what Alan Watts once called “the wisdom of insecurity,” the wisdom of the ages.

A path with heart brings us to experience the phenomenal world in all of its infinite richness, to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think and to find freedom and greatness of heart in the center of it all. 

Because each of us as a human flower will open in our own unique way in our own particular cycles, we need not direct the specific energies of our body and heart. Our path is neither to desire them nor fear them. 

The true path is one of letting go.

When we cultivate spaciousness, faith and a broad perspective, we can move through all states and discover in them a timeless wisdom and a deep and loving heart.

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The Integral Heart and Our Evolutionary Future

by Terry Patten -

The "Integral Heart" embodies a disposition that pays attention to the core of all things—the center that also connects with—and integrates—all dimensions of reality. 

The word "heart" comes from an Anglo-Saxon root-word connoting the "very center" or "core." 

The ancient lore of yoga posited three hearts — the beating physical heart on the left, the subtle feeling heart chakra in the middle, and the conscious causal heart on the right.

The core of things can be found quite practically right here in the physical plane; it can be found through the opening of the heart in transpersonal love; and it can be found by realizing the radical consciousness at the root of existence. 

The Integral Heart explicitly emphasizes the connection of consciousness, care and embodiment. It stands in the inseparability of the intelligence of the Integral impulse with the unified, awakened feeling awareness associated with the heart and the body.

It opens up a conversation: How do we actually live the Integral Heart? —especially in this time and place.

Living the Integral Heart

We live in "interesting times." We face multiple challenges so large they transcend human history, challenges that can only be understood on an evolutionary scale. 

Such conditions require profound, inclusive, caring intelligence and commitment, not mere calculation. 

That’s what is signified by the words "Integral Heart." 

Our political, social and economic institutions seem helpless, bound by a spaghetti-tangle of tunnel-vision karmas and Catch-22 dynamics. 

We Are Each Called

Only mighty, multidimensional, whole-being intelligence, anchored in the heart, has a hope to meet the challenges of our time.

We are each called by our evolutionary emergency—by problems that cannot be solved at the level through which they were created. 

We are called to wake up, to heal ourselves, to serve others, to cooperate and to evolve human culture and society. 

We must transcend and include all that has come before us, and embody our highest heart-intelligence in our personal commitments, our intimate relationships, our careers and our contributions to the world.

It's a big task. It's a humbling, sometimes painful task and it's a joyful one. But it doesn't help to get hyped up over it, or grandiose. If we are going to survive and evolve, it will only be with our feet planted firmly on the ground. 

This means we must engage in a deep, authentic process of growth and transformation. It means we must respectfully help each other evolve. 

We must further the great adventure of human consciousness, which, with all its twists and turns, peaks and pitfalls, is the process of history itself.

A New Enlightenment

Escola de Atenas (crop) - by RaphaelIn the 17th and 18th centuries, an "enlightenment" swept over the Western world—a new level of consciousness that sought to liberate individuals and institutions from the tyranny of tradition, guided by the light of reason. 

The enlightenment brought us democracy, human rights and such notions as equality and "justice for all." But of course, it was an incomplete enlightenment. 

It left a lot of people out. It glorified rationality at the expense of other legitimate forms of consciousness. Thus, in many postmodern circles, the whole notion of any kind of “enlightenment” was discredited. But nothing was offered to take its place.

In fact, we now need an even higher level of enlightenment. A greater, more inclusive, trans-rational enlightenment. An enlightenment of both the Mind and Heart (not to mention the Body, Soul, and Spirit!).

Just as the old enlightenment was inspired by the ideas and philosophies of the great thinkers of the time, our own enlightenment must also have its own grand ideas and maps.

This is important, because if we’re going to engage the process of waking up—and helping each other and many others, to wake up (imagine a viral or grassroots enlightenment movement)—we must make use of the best distinctions, vocabulary, and maps of reality we have available. 

We must understand, transcend, and integrate our global inheritance of human wisdom and know-how—ancient, traditional, modern, and post-modern. We must be changed in our very way of being

We must comprehend and thus masterfully participate in a nuanced, flex-flowing, multi-dimensional world. We need Integral maps, Integral consciousness and an Integral Heart. That Heart has no way into the world except through us.

Realizing the Integral Heart

Ultimately, this site is part of a larger conversation between people who are concerned with the big issues and questions that we face not just as individuals but a species and as a nascent global society. 

How can we bring greater love and spirit into the world? 

How can we peacefully coexist coming from different cultural contexts, different religions (or non-spiritual backgrounds), different histories, different politics, different ecological sensibilities and even different levels of consciousness? 

What's next for the inhabitants of this strange little planet in a boundless sea of stars and emptiness in all directions? Contributing to our evolutionary future is a great matter. It inspires me (and many). We often fall short of what's needed. I fall short. Yet we must keep trying.

More Background on The Integral Heart
  • Integral Agency-in-Communion - A short essay on the importance of balancing the "agentic" (masculine, individualist) orientation of many expressions of Integral consciousness, with a balanced and corresponding "communal" orientation (feminine, collectivist).
  • The AQAL Integral Map and Other Sources of The Integral Heart - A summary of the theoretical context of The Integral Heart, including a link to a 40-page PDF by Ken Wilber introducing the AQAL ("All Quadrants, All Levels" model of consciousness, the Kosmos, and human development.
  • Integral Life Practice - General introduction plus link to a preview of the first two chapters of the book by Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Adam Leonard, and Marco Morelli.

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