Change one, inspire million

Change One, Inspire Million

In the past, my ambition was to change a few people. I thought that would be ambitious enough as a life time project. If I could influence a few people and they could become a leader who influences million people, that would be great. Or so I thought.

I don’t remember exactly why I thought influencing a few people would be enough. Perhaps I assumed I was only capable of influencing that small number of people. That’s quite likely.

How limited.

Now I want to impact more people. In order to do so, I need to be able to change one person at a time. The first person I need to change is… myself.

Be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

Here, I promise to change myself into the kind of person who can influence million people or even more people. In fact, let’s aim to inspire and to leave a positive impact on everyone I meet. I’m not going to force anything upon them, but I will meet and interact with people, having this attitude in mind.

This change of thinking took place little by little. It took me more than a decade to change my thinking. But, it finally started blooming and the last pushes came recently. Very recently.

As I think about it, there were three sources of such pushes: Benjamin Zander’s TED talk, Seth Godin’s book “Poke the Box” and MJ DeMarco’s book “The Millionaire Fastlane”.

Benjamin Zander’s TED talk on Music and Passion

I would love you to watch Benjamin Zander’s talk on Music and Passion. I had seen it early last year, but its impact was even more powerful when I watched it again a few weeks ago.

Ben is passionate about helping people see the beauty of classical music. He notes that people in the classical music industry believe 3 percent of the population likes classical music and their ultimate goal is to add another percent to it. But, how does this way of thinking influence the way you act in promoting classical music, the way you interact with people who aren’t familiar with it yet?

I love the following part of his talk.

I say, “How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought 3 percent of the population likes classical music? If only we could move it to 4 percent. How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought everybody loves classical music — they just haven’t found out about it yet.” … See, these are totally different worlds.

Instead of acting as if we could influence only a few people, why don’t we act as if I could influence everyone I meet?

To be honest with you, I am guilty of assuming that some people are not interesting enough and of dialling down myself sometimes. I don’t necessarily look down on them for being boring, but I certainly don’t think about making a positive impact on them either, because I’d assume it would be a waste of time. Well, maybe it is in some cases, or even in many cases – but I will not assume these things and present my whole package. Instead, I will try to see their potentials and find something interesting about them.

Seth Godin’s Poke the Box

Let’s talk about Seth Godin’s new book “Poke the Box“. His message is simple and clear – be the initiator and start something now.

What makes a difference is whether you ship your work or not. You have good ideas already, and you can choose to ship them or not. If you do, great! If not, these ideas will be dead.

I’ve decided to initiate this change of the way I think and act.

By the way, Seth asks the following questions in his book and I find them interesting.

If you had a chance to do a TED talk, what would it be about? What have you discovered, what do you know, what can you teach?

I had been thinking about these questions, because recently I decided that I want to be the kind of person who can talk on an idea worth spreading at a TED or TEDx.

What would my TED talk be about? What have I discovered? What do I know? What can I teach?

Here’s another question – am I leading a remarkable life that will help me discover ideas worth spreading? I love my life, but I can make it even better and better – that is, my current life is not as remarkable as I want it to be. So, the next question is this: How can I be the kind of person who discovers ideas worth spreading and walk the talk?

I don’t have a clear answer to this question. But, having this question in mind is much better than having no awareness about it.

MJ DeMarco’s The Millionaire Fastlane

I came to know about MJ DeMarco’s book “The Millionaire Fastlane” through Tina Su’s blog Think Simple Now.

I got interested in this book after reading a guest post by the author himself (“The Greatest Tragedy: Time vs. Money“) and Tina’s endorsement of the book.

In his book, MJ DeMarco expands what he talks about in his post – time is scarce and money is abundant. His book centres around three different approaches to wealth: the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, and the Fastlane. The Sidewalk will get you to nowhere. The Slowlane will require you to trade time with money. The Fastlane will help you become wealthy without sacrificing your time. He argues that it’s crucial to have the Fastlane mindsets and focus on process rather than events if you want to be wealthy.

I was impressed by his instruction on how to be a millionaire.

If you want to be a millionaire, impact millions.

This is probably the simplest instruction I’ve ever heard, and it does make sense.


Thanks to the development of technology, we have means to reach million people. The Internet, e-mail, blogging, Twitter, Facebook… How exciting!

Here I have a question similar to the one I asked about regarding giving a TED talk. What kind of person do I need to be in order to impact million people? I haven’t left a positive impact on million people yet, and that’s a clear indication that if I keep doing what I have done before, I won’t reach million people. So, I need to stop what I have done and change my course.

I’m speeding up the gear now.

How about you? Do you know what you want to achieve? Is there any possibility that you are limiting yourself like I was? Do you know what you need to do in order to become that person who achieves what you want to achieve?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Photo: στρατός