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  • Rachel Ireland

Yes, You Can Change The World

Taken from the workbook ‘Change The World’ – sign up to get your free copy.

I know, the feelings are overwhelming.

The problems in the world are impossible to fix.

The news makes you want to cry.

You feel helpless, hopeless, insignificant and small.

But then there’s also this little spark isn’t there?

If you could just grab hold of it, nurture it, fan the flames, let it go BOOM!

I’ll be honest with you from the start. I don’t know how to fix those big problems in the world any more than you do.

But what I have seen is plenty of real people making a very real and very positive change in their community.

What that has taught me is that each and every one of us can make a positive difference in our own little corner of the world.

It might not feel like much.

It might never feel like enough.

But it’s something.

It’s starting something that matters.

“Do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

I spent most of my early career working for and with big national charities. They had a turnover of millions of pounds, hundreds of staff, and the work they did impacted thousands of people.

But those charities started with just one person having an idea too.

Now I focus on working with smaller community groups; people who notice that something is missing, or broken, or neglected in their local community, and make the decision to do something about it.

In all honesty, I find the stories from these people more inspiring, perhaps because they are more relatable.

Everything we do at The Creative Map is designed to guide you through these five stages:

Part 1: What’s Your Story?

The memories and experiences we gather throughout our lives shape how we evolve, who we become, and what we want.

It’s often the challenging times that make us stronger, and our moments of achievement that show us exactly what we’re made of.

It’s likely that your own unique set of experiences inform the changes that you want to see in the world.

  1. The biggest challenge in my life has been…

  2. The achievement I’m most proud of is…

  3. The natural skills and talents I have include…

  4. A time I was stronger than I thought I could be was…

This is your story of change.

We like to use music, journaling, art, movement & storytelling to encourage people to explore their identity, their story & their unique set of skills.​

You can follow along with some of these creative activities here.

Part 2: Pay It Forward

Even though The Creative Map is only a couple of years old, I've been doing this work for about 16 years now, and during that time I've gathered some of my favourite, inspirational stories. The stories that have stayed with me are those of people who have been through something life-changing, like the loss of a loved one, a breakdown or a serious illness, and have then taken that pain and turned it into something positive that helps others. What have your own experiences compelled you to act upon?

  1. What are your gifts?

  2. How could I use my talents and skills to help others?

  3. What do people often ask for your help with?

  4. When I look at the world I wish I could change…

Here, we are developing your idea.

We are taking your personal experiences and turning them into an idea that could help others in a similar situation​.

If you like these questions there are more in the Journaling Workbooks.

Part 3: Building Your Community

What do we mean by community?

For me it can mean either:

  • People in a geographical location, i.e. village, neighbourhood, town, city, sub-region

  • People sharing demographics (age, gender)

  • People sharing psychographics (opinions, interests)

A community group is a group of people working together with a common aim.

What will your community look like?

  1. Who do you want to help?

  2. What difference are you hoping to make in your community?

  3. Who will be in charge and who else will help?

  4. I can test my ideas to see if they work by…

Starting a not-for-profit can be as simple as forming a community group with some basic rules.

You can find the full workbook & mini course here.

Part 4: Funding Your Idea

Giving your time and expertise for free is how most people get started, and there are often lots of other people willing to volunteer their time for a good cause too. But at some point, you’ll need to start looking for funding to pay for things like insurance, room hire, equipment, activities & travel.

Thinking about this early on can help you to plan for unexpected expense.

  1. What might we need to pay for in the short-term?

  2. If this idea really takes off we will need…

  3. I would really like to have the funds to deliver…

  4. The core team of people we would like to be able to pay for their time are…

When you are applying for grants start by looking for some local funds specifically for community groups.

You can find the full workbook & mini course here.

Part 5: Making an Impact

It can be helpful to start out with a big, bold vision for the change you want to see, then working backwards to create something realistic and achievable.

  1. The long-term vision I have for my idea, group or organisation looks like…

  2. I think we could really make a lasting impact by…

  3. How many years are you thinking ahead as you start out on your new venture?

  4. What will you need to have in place to keep you motivated?

Soon it will be time to start thinking about growing & sustaining your organisation.

It’s never too early to think about your long-term vision.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Yes, you can change the world

If you truly loved and believed in yourself, what next step would you take?

Get your free PDF version of the ‘Change the World’ workbook by signing up today.

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