Reflecting on 30 Years: Make the World Better

In my final post as I look back on my first three decades on this planet, I realize that this is the one I need to focus on and do a lot more of. I want to make the world a better place — on a grand scale as well as incrementally on a daily basis.

I used to think that if I focused becoming wildly successful, one day I’d be able to give back. If I could make tons of money, I’d be able to donate lots of time and resources to things that would do good.

Clearly, this philosophy was flawed.

You do not need a lot of money to make the world a better place. You shouldn’t wait for some arbitrary day in the future to start doing good. There are so many things that could be done right now that require just a little energy, effort, or money that could have a big impact.

The way I look things, everyone on the planet can be put into one of three categories — you either have a positive, negative or neutral overall impact on the world. Now I realize that people can do both good and bad things and that people change over time, but at the end of the day when you add everything up, did the good outweigh the bad?

Ryan Donnelly is a person I know from high school who has had a tremendous shift in his impact. He went through a very rough patch in his life when he did some bad stuff (which he is very open about) and now uses that as his motivation and fuel to do good and help others.

His transformation and positive impact are a true inspiration. Good people, like Ryan, are doing good things every single day and often times sadly go unnoticed. One of simplest ways to make the world better is to support these people in any way we can. I am going to make it a personal priority to support and assist people who are doing good things. (If you read this and think I can help you in any way, just ask)

A few months ago, I wrote a post inspired by the Twitter profile of Ben Parr:

“I have the ability and therefore the responsibility to change the world for the better”

Such a phenomenal quote that really resonates with me every time I see it. Having the ability or the intentions to make the world better is not enough. You know what paved the road to hell.

We must take action! My goal is that when all is said and done and they add up all of the good deeds and subtract away the bad ones, the good far exceeds any bad. But it’s not enough, as I previously believed, to say that one day in the future I’d do all these great things to make the world a better place. There are little things that can be done right now and every day that will certainly add up over time.

To wrap up my learnings from my first 30 years, it took me a while to figure out what truly makes me happy. Now that I have this framework for being happy, it’s time to start executing the shit out it. If I can continuously improve myself and learn new things while focusing on doing the right thing and making the world a better place, I will be a happy man knowing that I lived life to the fullest.