If you’re in the second category and seek to make a positive impact in the world, then keep reading.

What is a changemaker?

In essence, a changemaker is someone who works actively to affect positive change. There are no limits to what a changemaker can do, only the bounds of imagination. A changemaker often looks at the big picture and endeavours to inspire change on a large scale.

Sashenka Worsman, former CEO of Australia’s largest youth-run international development organisation Oak Tree, offers her insights and wisdom on how to be a changemaker. According to Sashenka, changemakers fall into three categories. They are:

  • Leaders – These are individuals who don’t just accept things as they are. They challenge them to create a new a better reality. Leaders don’t just wait for problems to arise. They anticipate them and stop them in their tracks. It is a myth that leaders are always born. They’re made – and you can be one too.
  • Enablers – These are people who make something possible by believing in the dreams, capacity, and potential of others. These people give others the strength to strive and succeed. They may be family and friends, or strangers like an anonymous donor. But one thing’s for sure. They believe in what others do wholeheartedly, giving them the courage and impetus to persist and succeed.
  • Partners – These people believe in the work of others, and actively join them to advance their vision. From aligned corporate organisations and investors, to employees, volunteers, and everything in between, a partner can come in all different forms.
It’s important to note that being a changemaker is not a solitary journey. To be successful, changemakers need an army of other supportive people around them.

Sashenka offers these 3 powerful secrets to help you meet your potential as a changemaker. Here they are.

Secret #1 – Explore who you are

To really affect change, it’s critical that you know who you are, what you believe, and why you are so passionate about your cause. To do this, the first step is to ask yourself a set of questions. Here they are:

  • What makes you tick?
  • What makes the fire in your belly burn?
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What are your unique talents (strengths)?
  • What makes you want to get out of bed every single day?

These are hard, thought-provoking questions to answer. Some people will know the answers off the bat. For others, answering these questions can take weeks, years, decades, and even a lifetime. So, if these questions cannot be easily answered, continue to explore who you are, what you like and don’t like, and what experiences make your heart sing.

Secret #2 – What cause do you passionately believe in?

Once you understand who you are, your strengths, and what you bring to the table, the next question to ask is ‘Where are the greatest needs in the world right now?’

Is it an issue like climate change, mental health, human displacement, or conflict? Or is it in expertise such as coding, project management, storytelling, or design?

Where you view the greatest needs of humanity will differ from others. The real trick is to find the sweet spot where your greatest strengths and passion intersect with the greatest needs of the world.

When you understand this, you can be the best changemaker that you can, and affect powerful positive change in the world.

It’s important to realise that this ‘intersection’ is not set in stone, and can change at different points in your life, as you grow and evolve as a person.

Secret #3 – Challenge your identity

How often do you introduce yourself to another person and state what you do, what you study, or where you live? Does it go something like this: ‘Hi, I’m X and I’m a Marketing Manager at X company.’ Or ‘Hi, I’m X and I’m studying a Bachelor of Business.’

What’s your introduction?

Now, I challenge you to introduce yourself without telling someone what you do, where you live, or what you’ve studied.

So, why is this exercise so powerful? Who you are goes beyond the surface of what others see and what you do. By thinking deeply about his, you can start to explore who you really are, and how the world can benefit from your unique talents, perspective, personality and passion.