The ‘Empowerment’ word pops up all over the place these days and is used in all sorts of different contexts. I’ll explain our definition of conscious empowerment and show you how you can enjoy happiness and fulfillment, make a difference and change the world by living an empowered life.
But first, let’s look at why empowerment is so important today.
The world is in a mess – don’t you agree? We have wars, poverty, financial meltdown, environmental catastrophes and it seems like everything is falling apart.
It is falling apart! For a good reason. You have to break down what isn’t working in order to make space for something new.
YOU have a part to play in the regeneration of our planet and of our society, and a very important part at that. So read on and find out how you can empower your life to make a difference and make the world a better place…
What Is Empowerment?
Personal empowerment involves being true to yourself, fulfilling your purpose, reaching your potential, and making a difference, which creates positive change in the world.
Our day to day challenges and the problems the world is facing can seem overwhelming at times and I guess that many people find it hard to believe that they can do anything to make a difference.
That’s not true. Change happens one person at a time and YOU are a powerful change agent.
“No man is an island” ~ John Donne
We live in an intricate world of complex interdependencies and everything we do has an impact on others and on the world around us. Empower your life in the four key areas of life and you will make a huge difference not only to yourself, but to others too, and to the world.
1. Empower Your Self
Empowering your Self enables you to think, feel and act powerfully, with focused intention, in every area of your life.
This subject could fill a book on its own, so I’m just going to focus on some key points and practical tips that you can use on a daily basis to improve your life and make a difference to others and the world.
You may have heard this story before, but it’s worth repeating here as it’s an ideal example of the positive impact of empowered action.
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work.
Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.
The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
Adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
Small acts can make a big difference!
The boy in the story didn’t focus on the limitations of his ability to help, or get discouraged by the scale of the problem. Instead he focused on taking one step at a time – one starfish at a time – and took inspired action in the present moment, believing in his power to make a difference.
If he had stood by and done nothing, it would have meant death, not life, for those starfish he saved. We may not be faced with life and death decisions every day, but our smallest actions have far-reaching consequences that we are often unaware of.
Here are the 4 steps to personal empowerment that will enable YOU to deliver far-reaching consequences of your actions to create positive outcomes and make a difference.
Live in the present moment: The boy who saved the starfish demonstrates the power of living in the present moment. What can you do in the here and now to make a difference? Whether it is choosing what to buy in the supermarket (more about that later), or saving starfish on a beach, be aware of the situation and do what feels to be the right thing now, however small that action might be. As quantum physics has proved, the smallest things have the most power.
Make conscious choices: We are making choices in every moment, often unconsciously out of habit. It might be as simple as choosing what to wear today or it might be deciding whether to start your dream business. Whatever the scale, be aware of cause and effect every time you make a choice or decision. Evaluate the situation, focus on the outcome you want, and trust your intuition.
Let go of fear: Fear is what stops us from taking action. Knowing the right thing to do and doing it are separate steps. It might be the fear of what people think, fear of making a fool of yourself, fear of not being good enough (and so on) that stops you, but these are imaginary expectations. Put them out of your mind. They are not real.
Take inspired action: Knowing what to do doesn’t get it done – you have to take action. The boy on the beach could have carried on walking, knowing that the starfish needed to be back in the ocean, but leaving it to someone else to solve the problem. We might not be able to save the environment single-handedly but we can reduce our impact by recycling our waste and saving energy.
Each person’s individual actions may seem insignificant, but if we continue to act and encourage others to do the same our combined actions add up to making a big difference.
These 4 steps represent a powerful process for empowering your Self and I strongly recommend that you use them as your model behavior in your day to day life.
2. Empower Your Work
Whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur or an employee, you have the choice of delivering a high quality product or service… or not!
We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve dealt with people who are only interested in selling you something whether you need it or not, and with employees who show no interest in their work or in you as a customer.
What a difference when they are enthusiastic, courteous and helpful.
Doesn’t it make your day?
Being empowered at work means doing something you’re passionate about, that uses your talents and gifts and fulfills your purpose. When you love what you do you naturally focus on the quality of the product or service you are providing.
When you make the whole process of doing business with you a pleasure, as a business owner or as an employee, success will follow naturally.
3. Empower Your Health
Empowered health means taking responsibility for your body and learning about how it works so you can take care of it properly. Most of us know more about how our cars work than about our bodies. Here are four tips for empowering your health:
Learn how your body works When you understand what your body needs to operate at optimum levels you can make empowered choices when you do your grocery shopping. Nutrition is the foundation for health so eating a healthy diet is the first step in ensuring your wellness.
Eat organic food It’s the only way to avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the USA as there is currently no labelling of food containing GMOs. Buying organic food also means the food you eat hasn’t been exposed to toxic chemicals or produced with the use of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Read the labels Ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils have been proved to be harmful to our health, so avoid products that contain them. If the list of ingredients reads like a chemistry book, that’s a red light that says “Avoid Me”!
4. Empower Your Lifestyle
Mother Earth is in trouble and we have to take action to reverse the environmental damage that is threatening our very existence. Here are some easy steps to take to minimize your impact on the environment and contribute to the regeneration of our planet. Conscious buying When you spend money you have power, so choosing wisely what to buy has a huge impact on the environment, not only in terms of the products themselves, but it impacts the corporations that produce these products. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products, buy organic products, buy products made from recycled materials, and choose fair trade products whenever possible. Cheap often means exploitation of the workers and unhealthy working conditions. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! Recycle everything you can. You’ll be surprised how little garbage you’re left with, which significantly reduces the quantity going into landfills. Also, as I said above, buy products made from recycled materials to maintain the economic viability of recycling and reduce the demand for raw materials.
Take an empowered approach in these four areas of life and you will make a difference. You’ll feel better, get better results and play your part in making the world a better place. I guarantee it!