One of my favorite songs, written by Bono from the band U2, is called Rejoice. There's a line about how you can't change the world but you can change the world in you. I agree with him, but too often we sit around and just want this "change" all to ourselves. We don't see personal change as anything but self-fulfilling.
All change that is worthwhile happens when we intentionally decide to make the change because we think it will lead to a positive outcome beyond our own needs. If I finally decide to lose a few pounds, it will probably have something to do with wanting to have better health and live longer as a dad and husband. If I decide to start a company, it will likely succeed when I decide to think beyond my own bank account and create a company that is best for everyone involved (both the customers and employees). Every big decision meant to bring real change has prize that's bigger than what you receive. Every big change you want to make that is just for your own benefit is destined to fail, especially since the only person helping you is you.
Big change requires a group of "changed" people working together. It doesn't happen any other way. It's easy to get caught up in small personal successes that only benefit you, and then miss out on a bigger change that can have a much more radical Impact on the world. You have to see personal change as greater than you.
I realized this when I tried to start a graphic design company once. I had good intentions. I wanted to support my family and maybe even build something customers really wanted and needed. I have a strong background in design and usability, mostly during my corporate days when I led teams tasked with building new products. So I had the skill-set and determination. I even had the vision. What I didn't have was the support. I was so laser-focused on my own effort to build the company, which had about ten contract workers, that I forgot to have a much bigger vision that didn't just include those workers, and didn't just make them a big part of it, but that existed woefully because of that team and our impact. It was like I was trying to build a bridge myself. I knew the bridge could be useful; I forgot the process itself was the most important part. And, I forgot that the building brought more than personal fulfillment; it led to a bridge other people can use.
Do you want to change the world in 2016? Here's the secret. Stop trying to build something that is only useful to numero uno. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't built by one person. In fact, the original charter for the city was to build it for the citizens. It was intended to become something bigger than the people who designed Rome and built Rome. It was built to last. Follow that model in life. Build your own city, but build it because you want the world to be a better place.
A project or an entire company that exists because you want to succeed is always a mirror of your own interests and pursuits. It looks like you, and that's why it's so limited. Microsoft and Google don't look much like the founders anymore. They look like the combined efforts of hundreds and thousands of people working together. (In fact, the founders of Google don't even work there anymore, technically speaking.) It's safe to say that both Google and Microsoft have changed the world. Yet, I'm not saying to just join a cause. I'm saying you have to develop a "join a cause" attitude and stay that way. No more self-serving. No more self-idolatry.
Start seeing every project, a new company, or any endeavor as something that is potentially going to change the world and needs many hands to achieve that goal. Change yourself one step at a time, then get ready to become part of a global effort.
That's the real win. That's what leads to radical world-sized impact.