Be the change you want to see in the world.
It’s great advice. But if feels difficult, sometimes vague, often out of reach.
To make it more concrete, consider this.
You work at a company that fosters a toxic environment. Everyone is only focused on achieving a reward, to the extent that people barely greet each other when they meet in the corridors, actively hide information to get some edge, and only put a smile on their faces in the presence of a manager.
You can’t take it anymore. You are close to burn out, you are tired of being treated as a machine, and you dread the meeting to set your next goals way more than failing at them.
You have some options.
You can quit. Some do that, not many though.
You can muscle through. Most do that, and of course while doing that they lose energy, enthusiasm, well-being.
You can put up a shield of cynicism and sarcasm. I have done it myself many times. Become the one who has a witty response at the ready, a negative comment for every situation, a superior attitude that eventually will make it impossible for others to take you seriously.
Or you can reach out and ask: “how are you?” Very few do that. Despite the awful situation, very few understand that what is most needed in difficult circumstances is connection. Very few understand that they can be the initiator of something that is going to grow around them. Very few understand that they can indeed be the change they want to see in their world.
It is difficult. It can be done.