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Practice the Change You Wish to See in the World

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Life is a practice, and what you choose to practice is what makes up your character. It’s worth considering what you value in life, and then making an intention and plan to live alongside those values. Ghandi’s wise words can inspire us to: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Consider how simple it really is:

If you want to be more grateful in life, practice being grateful.

If you want to be confident, practice confidence.

If you want to be more mindful, practice mindfulness.

If you want to be more loving, practice loving yourself and others.

If you want to be more forgiving and let go of stress-laden emotional burdens, practice forgiveness.

If you want to live essential happiness ingredients such as compassion and generosity, practice compassion and generosity.

While simple on paper, in practice it’s a little more difficult to live this way.

As humans, we are “blessed” with a negativity bias in our brains which keeps us on high alert to negative and fearful cues. This negativity bias ensures our species’ survival, but can infringe upon our ability to stay on a direct path to happiness and well-being. It may tell us that we’re not able to practice these ways of living, or that we’re “not good enough.” It may also warn us that if we feel too good we might be caught off-guard, causing us to shift into a mode of catastrophic thinking.

However, by listening to the wisdom inside ourselves we can learn to pay attention to the negativity bias when it matters, and to tune it out when it’s misdirected.

Learning to practice what we know is the right path for us is contagious. It gives other people permission to take positive steps for themselves, and the ripple effects can continue on and on and on. This practice can begin with me and you.

Choose today to be the day to intentionally practice the change you want to see in the world.

It is in each and every one us to be that loving awareness.



Author of Uncovering Happiness and Co-author of MBSR Every Day

Practice the Change You Wish to See in the World

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2018). Practice the Change You Wish to See in the World. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Mar 2018
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