What is the Social Impact Journey like?
"Be the Change You Want to See in the World." - Mahatma Gandhi
I began my Journey to discover how I could really make a difference.
What does social impact mean to me? With enough empathy and compassion, it's easy to want to do good and be a humanitarian. In my eyes, change making is not just about making a difference, disruption or having a sense of higher purpose and meaning. It's a deep down feeling and knowing that our world is off-balance and actively participating in the creation of a new system designed for and with humanity.
While that is a slice of my personal journey, the good news is there is an amazing like-hearted community who share a very similar story.
Coming across the leading edge of change makers as a community, I can say we all hit our fair share of brick walls. In fact, even knowing that it exists, we can all acknowledge that it is somewhat a rite of passage. It's part of the journey and develops growth in leadership, strength, resilience and character.
The Journey is what transforms us. What transforms us inspires us to help transform others. In my personal journey, I can remember feeling alone, unheard, demoralized and told that lost my connection to "reality".
I went through a very transformative awakening process to break away from the herd mindset, and by far, while it was the most empowering experience, it was scary and required a leap of faith.
I've learned that social impact isn't about being the hero; the world doesn't need "saving" or "changing", rather leadership to invite people to experience new possibilities. There are no "good guys" or "bad guys", just people being people. Whether you believe that to be true or not, I find it empowering to recognize and appreciate we are all on one experiential human journey.
Ultimately, the biggest transformation is letting go of being a victim of your own circumstances and other people's circumstances. You do have a choice, and the first choice is to decide to be the captain of your own destiny.
When I went through my own personal journey of leaving the comforts of the corporate life, it was daunting. The world around me valued the steady paycheck, the title, the education and sense of security. As I was lost and in search of life meaning, I felt alone, ashamed and was a disappointment to everyone around me.
As reading this, have you experienced that? That inner voice asking the questions of WHO AM I and WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? It's very disruptive and scary; not just for you, but the people around you.
Eventually after letting go of the fear and expectations, I mustered the courage to ask myself, WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO LIVE TO MY FULLEST POTENTIAL? I had no idea what that would be like.
From my experience, social impact is by in large a personal and inner journey. That's because what is "social" and what is "impact" is very different for everyone.
As I followed the path of exploration, faced many of my demons, and experienced breakthroughs, I began to appreciate how my personal growth and what I created through what I was passionate with, in service to others, inspired and empowered people to positively grow and change their lives as well. Whether that was building tools, sharing ideas, having conversations or making more connections. To me, that was social impact.
I discovered that purpose, passion and fulfilling my potential meant aspiring to be my highest Self. WHO DO I HAVE TO BE TO LIVE TO MY FULLEST POTENTIAL. Elevating yourself and operating out of your higher values naturally expands the reach of positive social impact around you.
Are you on the social impact journey now? For those who are are seeking more meaning through making impact, or a part of organizations who are, they need leaders like you who are willing to make that life decision to direct your passion and creativity towards the greater good.
P.S. And as always, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and share your thoughts and feedback! I am always happy to meet talented people from around the world. If you find that I have overlooked an issue of importance to you, or that you want to share some of your experiences, I welcome your feedback.
P.P.S. I like the idea of sharing knowledge, therefore, please share this post with your network.
A little about me... Hi! I'm Duncan So, the Founder & Chief Catalyst of Phinklife, a Systems Change Agency, and the Head of Global Education at the Phinklife Institute for Social Impact empowering leaders for social impact.