Context note: This post was written in the wake of some very sad and serious national news. The world has only gotten more sad and serious, meaning that the message is even more important. 

 You know the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words?  There’s another saying from user-centered design that “a prototype is worth a thousand pictures.”  A prototype is a draft. An effort. A model.  A shot.  I learn SO MUCH when I take even an ill-informed, super novice step in the direction of my dreams.

Again and again I find that when times are tough the best thing I can do is one small thing right now.  There is no way to completely turn a tide right now (i.e., How can we move away from war and towards peace?). We can’t change a society right now (ie, How can we ensure that Black Lives Matter?).  I don’t even know how to solve my own small problems right now (ie, How can I eat a diet of mostly whole foods?). What I can do right now, though, is something.

The human that you have become, in the moment you are currently living is what you have to work with. What are you doing in this moment to create a life you love? To make a difference?

What could you be doing that would prove to yourself and others that:

  1. You take your dreams, your health, and your potential seriously.
  2. You love the people in your life deeply.
  3. You are an active participant in the creation of the world in which you live.

Today I shared my vulnerability with a friend, telling her that I worry that I wont be able to help anyone, that the world is too messed up to fix.

I’m ok with it. It’s fine to feel defeated, sad, and overwhelmed.

But then I posted on my blog and proved to myself that I will at least try.

As I did those things, I felt my power returning.  Oh yeah, I do care about my dream of helping people unleash their potential. Oh yeah, I do have something to say. Oh yeah, I AM going to be intentional and proactive and create the life I want to lead.  As Mother Theresa says: I’ll do good anyway.

These are my small things for today. What are yours?  

About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. She is the author of Great Work, the host of the Unleashing Your Great Work podcast, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.