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The Day I Decided to Change the World

May 4, 2011
Brandon Sutton

May 3, 2011

The day I decided to change the world.

I’ve thought about this kind of proclamation before, but have resisted.  Perhaps I didn’t know for sure if I had it in me.  No more. Today, I can proclaim with absolute certainty that I’m doing something meaningful with my life, and it’s going to change the world.

To be sure, this is a moment that’s been a long time coming. Through a series of conversations and synchronistic events, the Universe has lined up to propel me forward along this meandering path.  I was talking with my friend Don earlier and our conversation drifted toward the topic of putting one foot in front of the other, even when we have no idea where the path is leading.

Brandon SuttonDon said something that stuck with me – he said that he admired me for my conviction and pursuit of truth and justice and that my work had inspired him to continue his own work in a time when the path forward seemed the most uncertain.

After that conversation, I took a ‘break’ to watch a couple of films; Tapped and The Cove.  Not exactly light subject matter by any stretch of the imagination. Tapped is a documentary about the bottled water industry and its insidious impacts on society as a whole, and The Cove reveals the shocking slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

Both of these films deal with raising awareness about mindless consumption and disregard for nature and other beings in the pursuit of profits or convenience. This reminded me that individuals can and do make a major difference through fierce determination and pursuit of justice across the world. I thought about the work that I myself have embarked on in the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, and the message of personal change that I have been crafting around this effort has truly come into focus in these last few days.

I am convinced now more than ever that I’m meant to take my story out to the world and share it with as many people as will listen. I finally understand that to do any less would be a waste of potential, and would not serve the world in any way. This is the work that I’m most proud of, and it’s the next step out into a new frontier for me. This new stage is about story telling and sharing my experience of a  person with an idea for making a difference that had no choice internally but to pursue it.

I’ve struggled with this. I need help to take this out into the world, but I’ve been afraid to ask for it. Maybe because I didn’t know how or even what to ask for.  Maybe the fear of hearing ‘No’ was too strong.

No more.

Muhammad YunusI was recently selected for an upcoming one-on-one call with Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank.  I attended a local screening for the film To Catch A Dollar, which chronicles Grameen Bank’s entry into the United States, and how microfinance has pulled people out of poverty around the world. After the film, I was picked as one of 3 people to have a personal Skype call with Mr. Yunus. Something I said in the application caught their attention, and I am honored to have this opportunity to connect with a visionary individual that has changed the lives of countless people across the globe.

In recent months, I’ve received the support of some of the most talented, passionate, and giving people that I know. My desire to make a difference by sharing stories from the Gulf coast has become a reality, but there is much room for growth. The world is not served by my thinking small, and therefore it’s time to truly embrace big thinking.

I am seeking the ability to travel across the country and talk to people about my experience connecting with communities along the coast and my own struggle to limit consumption and live a more mindful existence.  I especially want to empower kids with the story of an individual making a difference through learning and self-discovery, along with a collaborative spirit and genuine desire to serve.

My friend Jeff often muses that the Wright brothers didn’t have a pilot’s license, and I would add that I don’t have a degree in making a difference or a Ph.D in saving the world. I just know that I can make a difference and change the world by standing up for what I believe in and being one of the ones who makes change happen.

My friend Dave tweeted a Hafiz quote earlier: “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the Astonishing Light of your own Being.” This quote and his blog entry on connectedness really hit me, hard. I’ve written recently about my beliefs on connectedness, and this was especially meaningful to me tonight.

I’ve wanted to change the world for quite some time now, but wanting is not the same as deciding.  Today, I am deciding to change the world. If you’re willing to help or just want to follow along, I’d love it if you would leave a comment explaining how or why.

Thanks for letting me share my journey with you.  How are you going to change the world?

top photo: Terrell Clark

38 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous May 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I just love you! You rock and I admire the hell out of you — your courage, your passion and your motivation. Can’t wait to watch this unfold!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you so much, Shannon. You’ve been alongside me these last several months while we’ve both followed what our hearts have told us to do. Thanks for sharing your journey with me as well.

  • Reply Lindsey May 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    For the last several months I have been sitting at home with an injury that took me away from the job that I loved. As the days came and went I have been growing more frustrated with my lack of recovery. As I sit in front of my computer or the television in the recent weeks I have been looking for more inspiring things to occupy my mind. As a spiritual person I have always found positive thinking and connectedness so important to a persons life. Lately there hasn’t been a day that goes by that I have not been flooded with so many people that feel the same way and are really trying to open up the worlds eyes. I went to a convention recently that I was so inspired by this women talking about our innerlights and how important it is to connect with everyone through positive thinking. I turn the T.V. on and watch Oprah (which i don’t normally do) and I see Tom Shadyac speak about his latest film, ‘I AM’ which spoke to me just as loudly as I am sure it did to so many people. I just feel as though lately I have been so tuned into so much of the same topics I am attracting these messages. When I read your words both in this article and others you wrote I found myself feeling, YES that’s how I feel. Those words and stories make complete sense and I believe they are the reason we are here. Not to struggle as individuals or as separate countries but to realize we are connected together in this world.

    I have come to realize these past few weeks that positive thinking and connectedness doesn’t just pertain to me and my life with my family and friends but it needs to be pushed open to the whole world. I feel I have begun to open up to these stories and they are meant for me to read. Like your story and your goal. I hope they continue to come to me and inspire me !

    Thank you for your contribution to humanity but more importantly thank you for sharing your stories because it does pass on positive vibes and trust me when I say it opens up new ways of thinking and feeling for people.

    -Lindsey

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Lindsey, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me today. I greatly appreciate your kind words.

      You are absolutely right about sharing stories and thoughts with the world at large, and not just our immediate circles. That’s the piece that is becoming so clear to me now. What it comes down to is truly believing that change is possible and it can happen as a result of sharing our truth with others. Holding back and thinking small doesn’t create change – going for it all the way does.

      Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you. I hope you’ll subscribe and continue to share your thoughts here. Also, check out the Helpful Resources page on my site. There are some incredibly inspiring people and books listed there.

      In Humble Gratitude,

      Brandon

  • Reply Darcie Jolliff May 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I love this Brandon. Thank you for sharing. Just imagine a world where everyone believed this of themselves. I came across a quote recently that I think is quite relevant. ‎”Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time. It must be a goal that is so appealing, so much in line with your spiritual core, that you can’t get it out of your mind. If you do not get chills when you set a goal, your not setting big enough goals.” I pledge right now to purse my goals and dreams. To stand up for what I believe in despite my fears. Let us not waste our potential!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 3:55 am

      This is what I’m talking about, Darcie! If it’s not a little bit uncomfortable, it’s probably not going to bring about much change. I’m glad you’re taking that pledge as well. Be sure to keep me posted on your journey – I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

  • Reply Darcie Jolliff May 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I love this Brandon. Thank you for sharing. Just imagine a world where everyone believed this of themselves. I came across a quote recently that I think is quite relevant. ‎”Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time. It must be a goal that is so appealing, so much in line with your spiritual core, that you can’t get it out of your mind. If you do not get chills when you set a goal, your not setting big enough goals.” I pledge right now to purse my goals and dreams. To stand up for what I believe in despite my fears. Let us not waste our potential!

  • Reply Kyle F Bidlack May 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    i believe the greatest hope for our generation and those to follow, is the fact that people like brandon are finding their voice…and using it.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 3:52 am

      Thank you so much, Kyle. This means a lot to me. I believe you are right, and the other commenters on this entry are also finding their voices and using them. It’s quite something to behold, really.

  • Reply Kim N Campbell May 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I am so grateful to have forged a friendship with you Brandon. You’re an inspiration and I’m always behind you. 🙂

    Kim

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 3:50 am

      Thanks Kim. You’ve been incredibly supportive of my journey, and I thank you for that.

      I admire your willingness to go out into the world and experience things with no guarantees. You’re part of a small group of risk-takers that are willing to put everything on the line to learn and experience new things. Kudos to you, my friend.

  • Reply Kate Harms May 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I totally get the universe aligning thing, I feel like it’s happening to me right now. I’ve been using my voice and making a change for years but now with some intense energy from within or somewhere else, I’m totally kicking it up a notch right now, which is a little scary but stories like these are quite reassuring for my path. I can’t wait to share my project. Coming soon….. 🙂 Well as soon as I get done w/ an attorney to make sure my things are in order,always got to cover your butt 🙂

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 3:48 am

      I’m excited to hear what you have to share, Kate. Hopefully the attorneys won’t keep you waiting too long. 😉

      Thanks for the comment. I hope you’ll stick around.

  • Reply Sean Wood May 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Rock on Brandon. You’re on the right path — keep going!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Thanks Sean – it definitely feels right. I’m rolling with it!

  • Reply Sean Wood May 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Rock on Brandon. You’re on the right path — keep going!

  • Reply Anonymous May 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Brandon, having followed this personal transformation of yours for the past few years, I have to say, I truly admire your courage and drive to connect the socially responsible aspect to marketing, as well as your personal life. Keep on truckin’, there fella!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you, Ryan. Hearing from people who’ve known me for years and seen this process unfold means so much to me. When I look at snapshots of my life in different periods of time, it illuminates just how much I’ve changed (and hopefully grown). These comments help me slow down and realize it. Thanks again!

  • Reply Don Moore May 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Brandon, your voice, vulnerability and truth allows us all to glimpse our own greatness and remember our potential. I truly believe this is our mission as global change agents. Don

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:23 am

      Thanks Don. I appreciate you showing up with your voice as well. It’s been wonderful getting to know you better these past few months.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:23 am

      Thanks Don. I appreciate you showing up with your voice as well. It’s been wonderful getting to know you better these past few months.

  • Reply Simone Lipscomb May 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I celebrate your proclamation and intention and affirm it with you Brandon!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:24 am

      Thanks Simone. Hopefully you’re having fun on your current adventure. I’m there with you in spirit.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:24 am

      Thanks Simone. Hopefully you’re having fun on your current adventure. I’m there with you in spirit.

  • Reply Captain Lyre Calliope May 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Welcome to the game! A year and a half in myself, and I can report that this is the first year and a half of my life I’ve consistently lived without a single regret. Making the decision to live authentically as yourself is a powerful thing and is itself worldchanging.

    Amusingly, I’d assumed you’d made this decision already when we met a few weeks ago. Not having seen your transformation, I can confidently say you’re already projecting the person you seek to become to the rest of us.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Thanks Lyre. I’ve had a couple of people bring this up to me over the past few days.

      I have been living with intention and consciously pursuing a life of purpose and service for the past couple of years, but it was last week that I made it a point to go all out and proclaim that I wanted my work to have a much bigger impact. Honestly, I’ve felt a sort of urgent inspiration in the work I’ve done with Spirit of the Gulf Coast, and I feel that I’m supposed to take this way beyond what I originally envisioned.

      It’s great to connect with others such as yourself that understand what I’m going through. I look forward to learning more about your journey and collaborating when the time is right. Thanks again!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Thanks Lyre. I’ve had a couple of people bring this up to me over the past few days.

      I have been living with intention and consciously pursuing a life of purpose and service for the past couple of years, but it was last week that I made it a point to go all out and proclaim that I wanted my work to have a much bigger impact. Honestly, I’ve felt a sort of urgent inspiration in the work I’ve done with Spirit of the Gulf Coast, and I feel that I’m supposed to take this way beyond what I originally envisioned.

      It’s great to connect with others such as yourself that understand what I’m going through. I look forward to learning more about your journey and collaborating when the time is right. Thanks again!

  • Reply Captain Lyre Calliope May 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Welcome to the game! A year and a half in myself, and I can report that this is the first year and a half of my life I’ve consistently lived without a single regret. Making the decision to live authentically as yourself is a powerful thing and is itself worldchanging.

    Amusingly, I’d assumed you’d made this decision already when we met a few weeks ago. Not having seen your transformation, I can confidently say you’re already projecting the person you seek to become to the rest of us.

  • Reply ST Frequency May 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    So great to read this, Brandon. More and more people are waking up to the truth that their lives can be a vehicle for so much needed change and transformation in this uncertain time. Huge respect for your noble intentions and heart. Enjoy the magical ride!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Thanks Stephen. As you know, you have been a huge inspiration to me in your own journey. I get so excited when I see a new blog entry of yours because I know it’s going to be epic! 🙂

      See you on the road sometime soon…

    • Reply Brandon Sutton May 9, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Thanks Stephen. As you know, you have been a huge inspiration to me in your own journey. I get so excited when I see a new blog entry of yours because I know it’s going to be epic! 🙂

      See you on the road sometime soon…

  • Reply ST Frequency May 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    So great to read this, Brandon. More and more people are waking up to the truth that their lives can be a vehicle for so much needed change and transformation in this uncertain time. Huge respect for your noble intentions and heart. Enjoy the magical ride!

  • Reply Al Smith June 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Awesome Brandon.  You will Change the world, man.  I believe it.  I am passionate about making a difference as well.  Hope to talk soon.

    Al

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    […] *The Day I Decided to Change the World- this particular excerpt feels like my own truth, out in the open: “I am convinced now more than ever that I’m meant to take my story out to the world and share it with as many people as will listen. I finally understand that to do any less would be a waste of potential, and would not serve the world in any way… […]

  • Reply 21 People Who Will Change the World in 2012 | Riding the Waves of Personal Development January 16, 2012 at 5:03 am

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  • Reply Jacko January 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome.  I decided to contribute 10% of gross revenues to benefit the youth.  We can change this world together. 

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