Be the change: Make a difference in your life and the world around you

Behaviour can influence emotion. Self-help gurus have long proposed positive thinking as a means of fuelling self-improvement. “Think happy”; “think success”; “think change” are just a handful of the mantras they use. Research now shows that positive thinking can in fact work against you, especially when it verges on the fantastical or unrealistic.

Much more credence is being given to positive action: be happy, be successful. YOU be the change.

The sheer scale of the problems facing the world in 2016 is daunting and at times overwhelming. Global warming, terrorism, human displacement and the constant looming threat of economic meltdown fill the airwaves, grab headlines and dominate social media feeds. The cyclical reappearance of social maladies such as racism can be terribly unsettling in the country we have always called home.

The light at the end of the tunnel is fading whilst the tunnel seems to be getting longer and longer. Positive thinking seems pointless and action therefore impossible. We tend to remain passive assuming change cannot take place – yet there are many examples to the contrary.

The exact link between positive thinking and positive action may be murky and perhaps one best left to the researchers. What is clear is that in dark times it is positive action that illuminates the way ahead and inspires. A seemingly insignificant act, much like a butterfly effect, can have remarkable repercussions. This is the essence of the #itstartswithyou campaign. Your positive action can bring about significant change within yourself and much further afield.

Almost 1400 years ago a man called Hussain ibn Ali, chose to act for social justice against a corrupt establishment. Against all odds, Hussain with just 72 supporters alongside his family were defiant in the face of oppression, and committed to making positive change.

Several of those individuals who found themselves on the plains of Karbala, Iraq. very nearly missed the chance to be part of a revolution for change. Hurr was a commander of the opposing forces preparing to battle against Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Yet on the eve of battle, Hurr’s conscience prevented him from standing on the side of the oppressive tyrant Yazid. He had a decision to make between doing right and wrong. He took the positive action of atoning and ultimately giving his life for the very person he was prepared to fight against.

Centuries later, the legacy of Hurr and the decision he made serves as a lesson to millions around the world.

Hurr’s was a momentous decision. Our decisions can be momentous too.

It starts with you.

What can I do?

Here are just a few ideas to encourage you to begin your action-packed journey:

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