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When thinking of what we want to accomplish in life, it’s easy to get caught up in our big dreams and feel impatient when we aren’t getting there as fast as we hoped. Many of us are wishing for an Abraham-like moment when God speaks clearly and tells us, “This is what I want you to do with your life – now go and change the world.” But even Abraham had to start right where he was.
No matter how noble our goals or how much we desire to make a positive difference in the world, the realization of our dreams requires a process—and processes take time. It’s good to keep the final goal in mind, but wise people know that progress takes place when they live by this rule: Do what you can with what you have, wherever you are right now.
You may not be able to change the whole world in this calendar year, but it’s quite possible that you could have a significant impact on the people who are already in your circle of influence. And who knows—that might be the spark that starts a movement.
Here are a few ways to get started:
First, look beyond yourself and assess your desire to make a positive impact on the world. Even if you rise to the top of your chosen field or profession, you won’t experience all God has for you unless you make people your priority. God created you to do good in the world. Look beyond your own ambition to see how you can build God’s kingdom by prioritizing people.
Second, assess your past influence. Think back over the past few years and remember the people God put in your life during that time. What kind of impact did you have on the lives of these people? Would these people say that they are better off having known you? Let your answers to these questions help you determine what you want your future impact on others to be.
Finally, determine your present circle of influence. Make a list of all the people you interact with on a daily or weekly basis. These could be people in your family, people at work, or people you regularly encounter as you are out engaging in the routine activities of life. Consider taking this list and asking God to open your eyes to the opportunities in your path each day to be a positive influence on others.
Your big dream may become a movement that changes the world, but movements start when someone with a compelling dream is able to communicate that dream and invite others to help make the dream a reality. So look beyond yourself, assess your past influence, and determine who God has put in your current circle of influence. And then do what you can with what you have wherever you are right now.