You can have the best ideas in the world. Deliver the most inspiring speeches. But without action they both are meaningless. Ultimately, action ushers in change and transformation. Though words are powerful, unless they are followed up with action they can cause individuals or organizations to lose one of their most valued assets, trust.
In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the greatest speeches of the century. Masterfully written, eloquently delivered, and inspiring, Martin Luther King’s words resounded across the nation. Millions witnessed this incredible moment in history. But the actions of King and other civil rights leaders gave the speech the potency and power; allowing it to leave a powerful mark in people’s lives and history books. Marching on Washington D.C., boycotting racist business practices, resisting oppression and injustice gave weight and credibility to the power of those words spoken that day.
Martin Luther King is an incredible individual, and comparing oneself to him can feel a bit intimidating, but I’d like to encourage you to remember he didn’t pursue becoming a great man. He pursued a cause he was passionate about acting on. Though that cause cost him his life, the weight of his actions ushered in sweeping changes long overdue in American society.
Four years ago, I was presented with the option to make a powerful change in my life. I had an opportunity to step into a place that would build up my skills and character to equip myself to be more adept at doing the work I am passionate about. However, it involved moving myself and my family halfway round the world. I realized, even though it would be a struggle the result was be worth it.
It wasn’t a decision or event that took place on a whim. It involved planning, sacrifice, and resolve to see it through to the finish. And here I am, on the other side of that decision, knowing I wouldn’t trade it for anything. More passionate and equipped to do what I love.
Here, now, today, you can act in a way that can change a world. You don’t have to march in protests, start boycotts, or deliver speeches in front of millions of viewers. You simply need a passion to change something then get to work. It may be a personal habit, culture in your workplace, nurturing a gift or talent you have. Start today making the changes you want to see or become.
Change is never easy, but positive change is always worth the risk and effort. Always.