Why Your ‘Fix the World’ Dream is Just a Fantasy
What’s Behind This ‘Noble’ Desire of Achievers to Fix the World?
Some people have grandiose visions of effecting major changes in the world and its people. Others, like Mother Theresa for one, just want to serve – to help people.
I can’t count the times I’ve heard people express the desire to fix the world. Why do so many entrepreneurs and achievers desperately want to accomplish this feet? Is it a selfless and noble notion or is there something else behind it?
Serving Others vs. Effecting Change
If you’re an achiever and in the business of helping others, you really need to honestly assess which of the two motives drives you. The difference is significant.
- Service: It’s about giving, sacrificing, teaching, and of course, helping others.
- Fixing the world: While it can appear to be all about helping others, it’s more akin to finding fault, forcing the issue, and expecting others to conform.
If you see yourself in the second camp, you might balk at my assertion. But, hear me out. You may find that you’d really rather be in the service business rather than the fixing business. If you look with an open mind you can see that one is more inner-driven and selfless and the other is more outer-driven and self-serving.
Let’s look into these “inner driven” and “outer driven” motivations.
The Mind or the Heart
It’s all about where one is coming from. When the heart is driving the desire and action there is true service and giving without any thought of personal gain, attention, or even the desire for others to change. On the other hand, the mind, left to its own devices, wants to take over and will seek to be rewarded for its good deeds.
When the mind takes over and runs the show, ego sets in and “service” becomes more about the provider than the ones being provided for.
Let’s back up even another step to get to the root of the issue. Often our desire to “help” stems from an inability to cope with the realities of the world around us, e.g. people are crazy – why do they do such things? This is a driving force for many.
I’m Right – You’re Wrong
How can we tell if our actions are from the heart or the mind? And how do we know if what we’re really doing is compensating for a lack of an ability to cope? A great way is to determine what’s behind our desire.
Let’s look at why we argue for example. Arguments are nothing more than an outward expression of the conviction that “I’m right and you’re wrong!” When arguments become excessive, they are damaging to our personal relationships.
Digging in and totally investing in one’s “I’m right – you’re wrong” position is a condemnation of another’s opinions and actions. It is a judgment stemming from insecurity and frustration and becomes an act of self-bolstering.
The desire to “fix the world” is like an argument with life itself and betrays our inability to cope with it. The result is a shift from the natural desire to serve into a desire to fix things so others are less confusing, scary, and disorderly for us!
What Drives You?
If you’ve ever thought you wanted to fix the world, perhaps it’s time to reassess your motivation. Is it just a coping mechanism? I believe it probably is. But, that doesn’t mean your heart doesn’t want to serve because it’s not just about people being crazy or different.
There are wars. There is starvation. We do have diseases and ignorance in this world. These have always been with us. It’s part of the evolution of mankind. So … can we stop “arguing with the world” long enough to see that fixing is fantasy and serving works every time?
Listen to your heart without the mind interfering. What you really want is peace despite the choices “the world” makes. And from this place of peace, you want to give, to serve, to love and be loved.
Serve your fellow man without expectations. Give them options, and let them make their choices.