This is Part 2 of 5 in a series on new year’s resolutions. If you have not done so, I invite you to start by reading Part 1 .

Leo Tolstoy once compared a human life to a grain of sand, whirling through space on this great big planet. This can be both humbling and overwhelming. We can feel powerless, especially with the challenging couple of years we have just gone through. But even if we are just small grains of sand, does this give us the excuse to not better ourselves? How can our small grain of sand make a leap and instantly create a ripple in the desert?

My resolution is for my little grain of sand to make enough of an impact, enough of a ripple, almost like a pebble into a still pond, so that I can be the source of the change that I want to see in the world. It all starts with my values, growing forward and living into what is important to me day by day, living life in the here and now.

When we look at the world around us, sometimes we can’t help but see how flawed it is. We focus on these flaws in our institutions, in our leaders, and in the people around us. We blame it on the left. We blame it on the right. We become polarized. Our first instinct is to add to the noise. We have a desire to change these things, but when we find ourselves unable to do so, we become frustrated, angry, and disillusioned.

We feel powerless, because we focus our energy on the whole desert, instead of our own little grain of sand. So instead, we can make a point to focus on the one thing we can change: ourselves. Take a long, hard look in the mirror, and take an inventory of what is important to you—your values, your goals, your dreams—and tap into that. Only when you do that can you hope to inspire those around you and lead by example, by embodying the change you want to see in the world.

Here are a couple examples of some small steps I will continue to focus on this next year:

  • I believe we can have more kindness in the world, so I intend to create more kindness myself. It can be as simple as smiling at strangers (the grocery clerk, the bank teller, the person behind you in line…), helping people out how and when I can, or giving genuine compliments to the people around me.
  • I want to reduce polarization, so I am setting an intention to bring compassion and curiosity into conversations with a goal of expanding perspective and mutual understanding.

How about you? How can polishing your little grain of sand lead to the world you most want to live in? What intention can you set for this next year that can help you lead by example?

Feeling lost? Numb? Conflicted? It’s time to create your future through SELF Leadership. Dave’s mission is to help individuals and organizations re-discover the innate wisdom within, define what success truly is, and GROW FORWARD!

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