15 Ways to Make a Difference in the World in 2022

Rachel Sharpe

No one is too small to make a difference in the world. You can have an enormous impact in the lives of the closest to you or even those miles away. While some might think that you need to go big in order to make a difference, the enlightening reality is that even small gestures can really change someone’s life so drastically. In this article, we’re going to share how to make a difference in the world in simple yet powerful ways. So, let’s work together to make the world a better place.

15 Ways to Make A Difference In the World in 2022

1. Meditate 

So many people care so much about helping other people. That’s amazing! But there is a slight problem. Sometimes, we want to change the world before we’ve changed ourselves. If we’re not mentally at our best, we won’t share the best version of ourselves with the world. The result? We might unintentionally cause more harm than good without ever realizing the catastrophic impact. Meditation helps you clear your mind, find inner peace, and make you mindful of your behavior in all interactions. The most important first step of having an impact is making sure you’re in the right mindset to bring out the best in others, ego completely killed. So, if you’re volunteering for a cause but a jerk to someone who hurt you, you’re not performing at your best. A meditation practice will help you kill your ego, your hatefulness, and undo the pain of past traumas. The more you practice meditation, the more mindful you become in the everyday world. You’ll become more proficient at seeing the hurt in someone’s eyes when someone is rude to you allowing you to be compassionate with those who need it most. 

Guided Loving-Kindness Meditation (10 Minutes)
Guided Loving-Kindness Meditation (10 Minutes)

2. Praise others in daily interactions

Have you ever worked in a toxic environment? You’re surrounded by bullies and people who’d rather be anywhere else. So many people in the world suffer from work stress. If you’re set on making a difference, starting with your workplace is a great way to have a positive impact on others. In meetings, you can support other people’s ideas by being vocal about good ideas from anyone (even people you aren’t necessarily close to). When a coworker does something positive, positively gossip about them to their boss. Let their boss know the incredible work they’re doing. Focus on being a source of positivity for people by calling out the best in people. You can do this outside of work too. When your kid’s come home from school showing off a cool project they’re proud of, instead of rushing to give them feedback to improve, let them know how wonderful it is. People often give feedback to improve instead of high fiving people. So to make a difference be the person who’s lavish with praise instead of looking to improve an idea. 

Free meditation appDeclutter The Mind is an app that will teach you how to meditate, help you form the habit of a regular practice, and expand your mind to the teachings of mindfulness.

3. Speak positively about yourself and others

Two women laughing in a pile of leaves

When people aren’t doing well, they tend to speak negatively about themselves and others around them. When people are happy, they tend to speak poorly less often. So when you’re speaking in your mind or to others, mindfully speak positively. Rather than allowing someone (including yourself) to put themselves down, immediately say the reverse to them. If someone says “I’m messing up with everything I’m doing,” you can say “You’re doing the best you can with the information you’ve got and sometimes things are a bit more complicated than we initially thought.” In every interaction you have with yourself or another, use positive language to help people going through hard times heal. But still, you’ll want to be considerate of the needs of someone struggling. Often, there’s a practice of mirroring that helps people struggling feel heard. So, while you’ll want to incorporate some mirroring practices, you’ll also want to flip their perspective a bit so that they can learn to rewire their brains. 

4. Spread kindness

Most people think about kindness occasionally. I challenge you to practice kindness daily. Every day, look for opportunities to be kind to someone else. If you pass a homeless person on your way to your morning coffee, buy them a cup too with a simple breakfast. If you notice your kids keep pestering you for attention, put your phone down and give it to them. If you notice someone crying on a bus on your morning commute, hand them a tissue. If you’re on the lookout for acts of kindness you can do, you’ll be more likely to find many throughout your day each day. Even something as simple as logging into Facebook each day to wish every person a happy birthday can go a long way to make people feel special. 

5. Volunteer at your local charity

If your goal is to make a difference in the world, consider volunteering. There are many local and international organisations in your community that can help people on scale. If you have a special skill, such as social work, marketing, fundraising, or even just free time on your hands, you can help a considerable number of people. You can help your local charity by working on promoting their cause, reaching out to businesses for donations, or running fundraising events, you can help the charity make enough money to help people in need. You don’t need to invest all your spare time, there are many charities that only require 2-5 hours per week of help, which you can fit into your week.

6. Donate to an important cause

Man wearing a "ChildFund" vest, volunteering his time

Did you know malaria is a treatable illness that kills hundreds of thousands of Africans each year? Yet, most people never hear about these types of charities because they spend most of each dollar raised on helping people and practically none on marketing. Many people donate to causes that do research but never actually solve the problem because they have good marketing appeal. So, instead of donating to the most hyped up charities, do your due diligence to see which charities you’ve never heard about before that actually donate most of their money to helping people directly. If the charity has millions of followers on social media, it’s unlikely that their charity rating is high since much of the money they raise goes into marketing. 

7. Start a business

Entrepreneurs help solve burning problems with their businesses. If you’ve recently noticed a problem and came up with a solution for it, you can help thousands or even millions of people by introducing it into the world. But that’s not the only way that starting a business helps people. You can also hire people to help eliminate poverty or joblessness in your community. Businesses tend to earn sizable profits that you can donate to charities and causes that help even more people. Businesses also help local economies through paid taxes, supported organizations, employment rates, and by paying people who will spend money on other local businesses. 

8. Share your thoughts with the world

With the internet, every single person with a wifi connection can now use their voice in a public forum. If you’re setting out to make a difference, why not use your voice for good? So many people turn to social media to share their outrage with things that aren’t going well. Maybe you can use for voice to make people feel good, loved, valued, appreciated, heard, or supported. If you notice a kind action someone did, share that with the world. Positive news and voices are so rare in society. The more good news you share with others, the more you can help people see what’s right with the world when the media is desperately trying to showcase all the chaos of it all. 

9. Make someone happy every day

A child helping out a friend fill out a form

Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself “Today I’m going to make someone happy.” You can do this a number of ways. You can surprise the person behind you at the drive thru with a paid for meal. You can surprise a friend with a dozen balloons on his or her birthday. You can praise someone publicly on your instant messaging service at work. You can randomly message someone to tell them how much you appreciate them. Or you can send an article that helps solve someone’s burning problem in the best way possible. You can go for a run in your neighborhood in a dinosaur suit to make your neighbors laugh. Sharing a hilarious video to a friend to make them belly laugh can also be a great way to make someone happy. You can make a difference in someone’s life just by going out of your way to make them smile, laugh, or simply feel appreciated in life. It doesn’t take a lot to be a good friend.

10. Spend time with your family

Most people look outward to help people in the world without helping their immediate circle. But the ripple effect of helping those closest to you can have a powerful impact. For instance, if you spend phoneless time each day to hang out with your family, you can help show your kids what a healthy relationship looks like. If you play board games with your family every Saturday night, you show your family how much you appreciate spending time with them. Making sure your family eats meals together is a healthy way to hang out. Even if you’re all watching the same television show together. Every day when your kids finish school and your husband or wife finishes work, ask them what happened in their day? Get to know what’s bothering them or what made them really happy. Enjoy the little moments with them. The mindless social scroll is nowhere near as fulfilling or rewarding as hanging out with the people closest to you. And while family time might not result in a huge legacy, it can still ripple out to so much good in the world. 

11. Give people the benefit of the doubt

It’s so easy to cut someone out of our lives. All we need to do is hit block or delete on a social network and they’re gone. But ultimately, most of our problems with others boil down to miscommunication and being in the wrong mindset. On social media, everything gets misinterpreted. No one can see our body language, hear our tone, or even see the tears in our eyes as we pour out our frustrations. And that can result in some messy and unnecessary arguments. Compassion is so important in our world but there’s so little of it. Before you get outraged by a post a friend or random on social media made, consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they mean well but they suck at communicating. Or maybe their mental health isn’t at peak performance right now. Use your voice to check in on them to see how they’re doing instead of picking fights. 

12. Listen deeply

Woman listening to another woman describe an issue

You can make a difference in so many lives just by listening. While hearing the words people communicate is easy, listening is a bit more challenging. Active listening will require that you read between the lines of what someone says. If you’re not naturally good at picking up these subtle cues, it’s okay to directly ask people questions to know for sure. Many people struggle in life. To best support someone, make sure you understand what the actual problem is so you can help them meet their needs. That doesn’t mean solving the problem for them. For example, your husband is burnt out at work, you can help ensure that homelife is stress free. That might mean giving him a few hours to unwind away from you and the kids in the evening as he relaxes after a stressful day. It might also mean that you ensure homelife is extra positive. Maybe you get the kids to write dad a card about how they love them to make him feel special. And while you won’t directly interfere with their problem, you’ll make the person’s life a bit better. 

13. Be there for others

To make a difference, sometimes all you need to do is be there. With recent job losses, divorces, first babies, or mental stress, there are millions of people who desperately need a friend. And you might realize that the suffering is in your inner circle. While you might not be able to solve their every problem, sometimes just showing up is enough. If you know someone recently lost their job, you can help send them listings or look over their resume and cover letter for applications. New moms often talk about how isolating being a new parent is so be sure to send cards in their mail, send them messages, or surprise them with diapers every now and then. Taking the time to do some video chats with those closest to you is a good way to keep tabs on people’s life states to ensure you’re offering support to those who need it most. If someone’s mental health is worse than you can handle, bring in a professional while still showing up for daily or weekly chats. 

14. Take away someone’s stress

Nobody wants stress in their life but so many of us are filled to the brim with high stress levels. If you see someone with stress, be the person to remove obstacles for them. That’ll make a difference in their life! You can remove stress by replacing it with a fun solution, providing positivity, or melting their worries away with a surprise. Being a good listener is also a good way at combating someone’s stress. Often, when people are stressed, they’ll cycle the same thoughts over and over again. This becomes wildly apparent when you realize they keep bringing up the same story repeatedly. In this case, you’ll need to call this out so that they can catch their thoughts better to prevent spiraling. If they need some help with problem solving, be there ready to offer any help they might need. 

15. Notice when people are in pain

Close up of two people holding hands

Finally, the last way to make a difference on this list is to become aware when people are in pain– even if they don’t directly state it. The people you’ll need to help to make a difference are those who are struggling. The easiest way to have an impact on others is to be an expert at spotting suffering in others. You’ll need to be well aware of noticing when someone’s thought process isn’t healthy to help shift their perspective to prevent a mental collapse. You’ll also need to be able to call bs on people who pretend they’re doing fine when they’re really not. By recognizing suffering in others, you’ll be able to make a difference by stepping in and being their bright light in darkness. 

Conclusion

In 2022, you can make a difference in the world in so many ways. Using some of the ideas in the list, you can have an impact on your family, community, or around the world. But first, it all starts with you. By bringing out the best in yourself first, you can then bring the best in your inner circle and then globally. Make sure you’re treating everyone closest to you with so much love and kindness because that level of positivity can ripple out too. There are millions of people who would love to have your support and kindness in their tough times so be on the lookout for opportunities to help people in need.

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