Mindstate Motivation Blog

How to Be Different to Make a Difference in the World

Who in your mind is someone who really made a difference in the world?  Is it somebody like Jesus Christ; Joan of Arc; Ferdinand Magellan; Abraham Lincoln; Karl Marx; Clara Barton; or Albert Einstein?

I won’t go on with the list because it potentially could number in the thousands.  What’s important is to consider some common threads running through the character of people who in different ways made a difference to the world.

If you understand those threads of commonality, they become more available for you to adapt and leverage in differentiating yourself.   It’s your differentiation that can be your unique contribution to the world around you.  It’s that unique contribution that makes a difference for everybody!

You can find your unique contribution!  It’s there!  Don’t let it go to waste!  Here’s how to find it…

First among all the characteristics of the above people, or anyone else you could put on the list, is they had a vision of something much greater than themselves.  They saw potential where it did not currently exist.  Furthermore, they had a clear idea of how they could apply their unique knowledge/skills to help the world realize that potential.

It’s the application of their unique knowledge/skills that can be the defeating challenge, however.  The same is true for you in your effort.

The key to mustering the discipline to apply unique knowledge/skills is in the depth of passion you feel for that knowledge and skills.

Just for example…take Clara Barton.  How is it she evolved from a school teacher to founding the American Red Cross?

The answer would seem to lay in the dramatic needs for the care of combatants in the American Civil War.  Seeing the horrors of that war fired a vision of something bigger.  They stoked her passion to apply her unique knowledge and skills to ease the suffering of those wounded and dying.

For you the answer to finding your passion is in doing some soul searching.  You have to reach way down into who you uniquely are so you can truly feel how you really want to make a difference.

Start by making a list of all the things of passionate interest to you.  Sift and winnow that list down to three or four things that you feel the deepest emotion for.

Pick the one you feel is the biggest idea of them all and that has the biggest potential to favorably impact other people.  Again, you are looking for that totally different idea that is much bigger than you…that can make a difference in the world.

With the vision and the passion, it is time to build your plan of action.  Building a plan of action that will lead you to truly making a difference in the world is a process.


First, having analyzed your list of passionate interests, it’s time to assess your current situation relative to your one big idea.

This step requires you to honestly examine your needs, desires, strengths and weaknesses to be clear what you have to work with; what needs improvement; and what it is going to take to keep you motivated.


Next, establish the specific goals to be included in your plan. Every goal has to be written not held in some remote area of your mind.

Use the SMART system for developing your goals.  Goals created using this system are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Example:  Successfully finish running the Chicago Marathon (Specific) in 3 hours, 30 minutes (Measurable) which would be a 15 minute improvement over previous attempts (Attainable); the goal is important to my continued physical fitness (Relevant) and is to be accomplished by October 20, 2016 (Time-bound).


Develop the action plans necessary to achieve each goal.  The action plans follow a similar pattern to your written SMART goals.  The plans must include specific steps, responsibilities and deadlines for completion.

Act on your plans.


Review and compare your results to the plan on a frequent basis to keep you on target.  Adjust your plans as emerging circumstances dictate.

  • Schedule time each week to prioritize your weekly goals.
  • Concentrate your time on your most important tasks.
  • Plan your following day’s activity the day before and take 15 minutes to develop a related to-do list.
  • Do all tasks correctly the first time…no shortcuts!
  • Leave room in each day’s schedule to handle the unexpected.
  • Resist/remove any non-essential interruptions.
  • Assess milestone check point results.
  • Allocate appropriate time each day for relationships, nutrition, sleep, spiritual renewal, exercise and recreation.

Vision, passion and a plan are how to be different and make a difference in the world.

Each in their own way, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, Ferdinand Magellan, Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, Clara Barton, Albert Einstein and thousands of other difference makers did/do all those things.  That should make them good enough for you, too.

Make a difference!

garylogonewbrownsmallWhy would you want to make a difference in the world?  What will be your next step?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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