I just finished one of my favorite books of the year, A Selfish Plan to Change the World. This book was #48 toward my goal of reading 52 books in 2018, and it was definitely one that I’ll highly recommend to anyone that is interested in making the world a better place.
Btw, I stopped writing book reviews and instead will be capturing notes and quotes when reading a particularly good book, and I’ll share those if it makes sense. Writing reviews for all 52 books was far too time-consuming…
Below are my favorite quotes from this book:
Some of the worst travesties in history occurred because it wasn’t rational for someone on the outside to engage with the chaos of others. Rational choices keep us from protecting someone else because they don’t look like us, live near us, or directly affect our daily lives.
Your riot (purpose) is a place inside you where you stand up and say that something is wrong. It’s where you turn your indignation into action. Simply put, finding your riot is how you find your purpose.
Ask yourself: What would I like to change in the world to benefit others?
The deep need for meaning and purpose in our lives is one of the greatest forces for change in the history of humankind. The need, if acted on, can change the world. Meaning isn’t measured in resources, but resourcefulness.
My goal has been to make it easy for anyone to participate in building a free world.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that the only way to find purpose is to do something you don’t enjoy.
Poverty is defined as scarcity. It is the fundamental non-existence of something that’s desperately needed. Someone is hungry because there is a scarcity of food. Someone is sick because there is a scarcity of medicine. Someone is in slavery because there is a scarcity of law enforcement. The word scarcity is important because it describes an absence where there should be presence, the missing puzzle pieces needed to create a complete and beautiful picture. Poverty simply means that something is missing.
It’s interesting that as a society we hyper focus on all the reasons why people get rich but fail to understand that there are actual reasons why people face scarcity. (I LOVE THIS)
Exploitation of children is unequivocally wrong and must be ended, and our most effective change agents are people like Joan (Restavek Freedom Foundation), who weave grace, innovation, and tenacity into action.
We rarely change our behavior because we are told to do so. We change when someone who is trustworthy graciously shows us another way to live that works better.
(Don’t try to save the world)…change the world to save the world.
Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. – Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of The Children’s Defense Fund
Meaning is the glue that holds our happy moments in perspective, that nothing is promised in life and everything good is a gift. Blindly pursuing happiness alone robs those we love, and the world, of our contribution to their lives. When we give our attention and energy to others, we see a world that’s much bigger than our happiness could ever fill. A practical rule of engagement is this: happiness comes through attaining, but meaning comes through giving.
I am rich.
You are poor.
I give to you.
You are saved.
I remain rich.
I am poor.
You are poor.
I have means.
You have a scarcity of means.
I have scarcity of meaning.
I help reduce your scarcity of means.
I now have meaning.
You are not poor.
I am not poor.
A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. – Robert McKee
When you begin to change the world, you are putting more than just your time and talent on the line; you are putting your purpose, your soul dream, on the line. You have decided that something is broken in the world and that you are the person to act on it. Behind you is your life up to this point, with its victories and disappointments. In front of you is an unknown second act, waiting for you to play your part. This is when the temptation to wait for someone or something to give you permission to act begins to rise. – This is understandable, but a big mistake.
Don’t talk. Do. Then fail. Then do better. That’s how you find meaning and change the world.
This is why it’s so important that you find your own riot (purpose) and step out toward it. If it’s a good idea, then it has probably never been done before. And if it has never been done before, then there is no map to follow, no obvious steps to take. Your first step will be the first step ever taken on your idea. Trusting your impulse and taking a step toward your idea is the smartest first move.
I have found three steps every singer needs to hit their money note. You will need them, too. I call them the three P’s: passion, practice, and people.
Fear of failure is healthy. It means we still have most of our sanity intact. Avoidance of any activity that might result in failure, however, is very unhealthy. Avoidance of failure, or ignoring the lessons of failure, is somewhat like dipping a foot into the lake of narcissism. It means we are unhappy unless we have ultimate control over our lives and reject any variable that might conflict with the script we have written for ourselves.