Home / Ideas Creating Entrepreneurship / Don’t Be A Passion Hoarding Shmuck… How To Change The World With It.

Don’t Be A Passion Hoarding Shmuck… How To Change The World With It.

So, you want to change the world? Who do you think you are? Do you know how much awful crap is going on in this world? People are starving, killing, beating, dieing, thirsty, overly fat, overly skinny, hopped up on pills, stealing from one another, bitching about nothing. You think you… one person… with one idea… with one life… can change the world?

Our Answer: “1st… Stop being such a Carl Complainer. 2nd… Can I make this world a better place? …YES, I DAMN WELL CAN.”

Here’s the thing… the Carl Complainer up above… well, he’s right… The world we live in today has always had and will always have a boatload of problems. And at times that boatload can feel like a sinking ship.

But here’s the other thing… let’s screw the naysayers, and be the waysayers. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Where there’s passion, there’s ability and imagination. Where there’s a problem, there’s opportunity.

Here’s a few examples of how you and I can take our passions, niches, and interests and change this wild world we live in for the better.

THE PERSON WITH A PASSION

Whether your talent and passion revolves around something as random as building replicas of the world’s most eye-popping architectural structures out of toothpicks or is something not so random like website design, film editing, culinary arts, or outdoor activities.

Design Creatives: As a Web Designer myself, I’ve launched a scholarship program (more info on this coming soon) to work with foundations and grassroots campaigns. You can easily offer your skill set to people in this world trying to do some good, and help them get there!

Your Biggest Interests: Let’s say you’re a sports addict…  plan a charity softball event with local companies and organizations to benefit a cause you care about. Maybe you’re a badass lifestyle design surfer like Sal Greco and you can start a free one week surf camp for less fortunate kids. Maybe you’re a kickass percussionist like Mark Powers and you can organize a Battle of the Bands for Charity or start something like his Junk Jam Sessions!

THE TRAVELER ABROAD

There’s a reason us travelers have such a passion for seeing the world. It’s because we love it! We love its differences, we love its similarities, we love the crazy things you don’t see everyday and the local customs that include water splashing in Thailand and tomato throwing in Spain. But let’s not take it for granted, my friends. We should give a little back to the places that have allowed us to call ourselves real travelers.

Give Your Time: Whether you’re in another country for one week or one year, find a way to volunteer while you’re there. I taught English weekly in the outskirts of Buenos Aires when I lived there and I look back on those memories fondly. Isabel Eva Bohrer over at Vegabondish is a great example to look up to in regards to someone that took it upon herself to travel not just for the sake of travel, but to volunteer as she did it.

Help Stop Hunger: Cook up meals in your apartment or hostel and then spend the day handing them out to the homeless or less fortunate people where you are. Take a few pictures and document it to share with your family, friends social circle to show what you’re up to and to inspire them to create change in their own backyard as well.

THE TRAVELER WHO ISN’T TRAVELING

Even if you’re stuck at home, there is so much you can be doing to change the world! Besides, most change springs from ideas and actions that begin in our own backyard anyway, right?

Fix Up Your Block: One of the most wonderful people I know in the world, Kyle Russel, planned a local event to clean up one of the trash-filled lots on H Street in DC. They’re currently in the works to plant a community garden in that very lot. Kyle is a real estate agent who knows a thing or two about making your own backyard the world you wish to be in and see.

Organize A Walk: I recently wrote a post about how to solve the little dilemma of being a traveler who isn’t traveling. The feedback I got was amazing and became a big part of what inspired my the 50 Mile Walk For World Changers I’m doing next week!  I took my love for adventure and exploring and decided I’d walk 50 Miles over the course of 2 days and raise funds for DonorsChoose.org. (Check out the World Changer walk Post HERE! Your support means the world!).

THE ENTREPRENEUR / PASSION PROJECT ADDICT

Start A Business: Just look at Kristen and Shannon from All Of Us Revolution! These two amazing ladies have started their own clothing line from the ground up, traveling around Central America researching materials, redefining the status quo by making a clothing line that fits in with the minimalist lifestyle and is also sustainable, and living a double life to be able to make their dream happen! Talk about taking their passion, turning into a lifestyle and business, and then  making the world a better place with all of it!

Start A Blog: World Traveler and Changer Amanda Kloeppel of Amanda’s Annotations has been using her blog as a brilliant way to show the causes she’s passionate about and talk about how she and others are taking action to support them. If your blog is your passion project, incorporate a section of it to at least spreading the word of causes and organizations you believe in.

SUMMING IT UP WITH A CALL TO ACTION

You and I both know that all talk and no action is a bunch of bullshit. We can’t be travelers if we we don’t travel, we can’t become better individuals without doing the things that make us better, and we can’t make a difference without doing the things that actually make things different.

So, my challenge to you is to think about a few of the things in your life you’re passionate about and talented in, and come up with a list of ways you can harness them in the form of a Project, Event, or Activity to make this world a better place. Want to live a more inspired and inspiring life? This is one of the best ways in the world you can do that more!

And if anyone ever says anything to you like how I started this blog post, tell screw em’!

Share your ideas in the comments! I’d love to be your brainstorm partner and offer ways to expand your kickass ideas and help you make it happen!!!

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About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

Share with me what you're getting into that matters to you. It could be stepping into entrepreneurial pursuits, embarking on a journey of the self, making a crazy life change, or even if you're totally stuck. I want to connect with, support, collaborate with, and learn from as many people as possible through this blog (that means you!) Click the *Share* link in the main menu and let's connect by filling out the form.

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  • Charming idea Laur! I approve of the call to end passion hoarding! It really is strange that so many people seem to really lack passion. Yet, I know it is in there… it’s just being buried by insecurities and jobs we dont love and people we aren’t crazy over…

    One of the reasons I started writing was to put together my thoughts and passions. I have a lot of things I will do with my life and it was thanks to others always thinking me so crazy that made me realize I may be on to something.

    Us crazies gotta stick together. Spread the passion. No hoarding here!

    • Hey David!!!!
      haha I love being a crazy!!! I take it as a huge compliment every time a friend or family member tells me, “Lauren you are rediculous you can’t do that” And then I’m like.. psh watch me! haha. A few months ago my Dad told me I should just get a car b/c getting around my motorbike was unrealistic… guess whose getting around on 2 wheels these days? Me! 🙂

      But as far as passion hoarding goes, it seems to me that you definitely are crazy enough to spread the love! It’s so great to have some cool ass people in this world like you that make sure they do the things they love and spend time with people they are crazy about 🙂

      So, what’s your next project going to be to spread some of the passion?! 🙂
      Laur 🙂

      • Congrats on the 2 wheel life style love! Such a good way to do it. Stick it to anyone who doubts us.

        As for my next project… hmmm… I feel like I’ve always got a few projects in the mix. If anything, I need to slow it down a bit. On second though, nah, it’s full steam ahead!

  • I like this post. We have to believe that making a difference is within one’s own personal grasp so that the collective difference making of each person really does impact the world. That’s the only way things will get done. I mean, I checked how much complaining progresses things and it’s still zero, null, nada. Action makes difference, complaining? not so much.

    Crazy ideas can create a nicer world. Let’s all make that cumulative difference.

    Cheers.

    • Hey Matt!!!

      I like your attitude Matt! Have you ever read the book “A Complaint FREE wORLD” It’s a challenge to not complain for 30 days straight. I have to say, I still haven’t passed, but you’ve reminded me that I should take the challenge again. Check it out! Get the purple bracelet and see if you can keep it on the same wrist for 30 days = 30 days of no complaining!

      Here’s to not bitching and more DOING!
      Laur 🙂

      • I remember seeing it on someone’s website, but thanks for reminding me!
        I’ll definitely think about that project as well! 🙂

  • Lauren- thank you so much for the unexpected mention! It IS so important to spread your passion around. I feel it creates a win-win scenario that can educate, entertain and assist others while simultaneously fueling your own internal fire. Inspiring post- thank you, thank you! 🙂

    • Hey Mark!!

      MY PLEASURE!!!! You are awesome!!! I play the guitar and I think down the road I want to set up some sort of free lessons or maybe organize a benefit concert like I mentioned here! I love your junk Jam session gig! Very STOMP of you 🙂
      Keep it up Mark!
      Laur 🙂

  • I may just take you up on that, Laur…I was just wrestling with the “who the hell do you think you are?” demon yesterday, and instead of fighting it and screaming back at it, I see that all I have to do is continue on my path and I will prove that demon wrong!

    So many schools are cutting arts and music…makes my heart break…I’m just getting off the ground with my website, but I want to do things to encourage young folks to follow their artistic dreams, and not end up putting them off for decades like I did, because opportunities were scarce. Lots of ideas percolating in my brain 🙂

    Thanks for being such a rockstar!

    • Hey Laurie!!!
      Yea that demon is a little jerk haha. One of my best friends Liz is a brilliant artist! Her and I are currently working on a project to paint a mural in Newark, NJ with a classroom of kids in the public schools there! With your artistic talent you can do so much to help teach kids that they can make a difference and follow their artistic passions as well!!! Congrats so much on your Water’sEdge growing! That is great to hear!
      So, what project are you working on to spread your artistic passion?!
      – Laur 🙂

  • Lauren, what a great post.

    I actually came away from this super motivated. I love the examples you’ve given, especially the “all of us revolution” i’m going to look them up and learn more about what they are all about.

    I’ve been living in Peru for the past 8 months working in Tourism and I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I can do to contribute to the less fortunate people here, and other people/countries in South America. At this point I’ve only been throwing out ideas but have never really put anything on paper. I might spend some time revisiting these ideas and see what I can get going.

    Thanks for some morning inspiration Lauren, love this stuff.

    Matt

    • Hey Matt!!!!

      Yea the girls at All Of Us Rev are awesome! Definitely check them out!!!
      I hopped on over to your blog… AWESOME! Peru is on my list of places to go asap… along with every other country in this world haha. But I love Peru and have some great friends from there.

      So, what have been some of your ideas?! I see you’ve taken some pretty kickass photos! You should start a photoblog of them and then host an auction event where people can bid on prints and all proceeds are donated to an organization based in Peru!
      Just throwing ideas out there! I’d so love to hear some of yours though!!!!

      Espero que todo vaya bonito para ti en Peru, mi amigo!
      – Laur 🙂

  • Lauren, I really enjoyed this post and the ideas that came from it. I love when people come through with perspectives on travel, and in life like this. Also, it was very well written.

    • Hey Brendan!!!

      Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂 And yes, one of my favorite things as well as something that’s really important to my core values is using my travel experiences as a way to better myself and do my best to better the world as well. Travel has always been the biggest thing in my life that helps me grow and learn. That’s part of the reason why we’re addicted to it, right? 🙂
      – Laur

  • You crazy MO FO YOU!!! Now I HAVE to start a surf school to teach less fortunate kids… No really… THAT SOUNDS AWESOME… If you are interested in helping out, get down here and lets do it!!!

    WOW… The real funny thing, is you beat me to it. I TOTALLY wrote you in my post today, I just don’t know if it will publish tomorrow or early next week haha.

    On your post, it rocks socks off!!! And this is my new favorite quote “Where there’s passion, there’s ability and imagination. Where there’s a problem, there’s opportunity.”

    You really made a STRONG point here, and I hope people read this and it kicks their ass. At a few points in, I thought I wrote it… Your mad girl… Just mad!!!

    Surfs up,

    p.s. Thank you very much for the mention!

    • Wasssapppp Sal?!?!!
      Yo I would so be down to help out with starting a surf camp! Even if it’s something more simple like getting in touch with some of the schools or Big Brothers, Big Sisters and offering a free surf camp for just one day.
      You can get some of your surf buddies to help with teaching, and I’ll lifeguard and make sure all you fine boys teach properly and provide CPR should something go wrong haha 😉 (I’ve been meaning to get a surf board and teach myself lately actually)

      I’m definitely in if you are! I’ll be gone most of JUNE for that road trip, but come July, I’m DT…do it.

      Stay Mad Boyyyyyyy
      – Laur 🙂

  • Jossie

    So the real problem with some people (i.e. me) is that we have a lot of interests and are talented at random things, BUT…we don’t know what our passion really is. What is that one thing I can do all day long without thinking “almost done…” and when I wake up in the morning I say “I can’t wait to get started!!” So, in an effort to finding my passion, I started a blog in Jan 2010, but haven’t touched it since July…

    http://jossie.posterous.com/

    I think I might start it back again 🙂

    • Hey Jossie!!!
      Jossie, having many interests an talented in random things is like my middle name! haha. I’ve struggled with that for my whole life and it actually used to really frustrate me. I’d bounce around so much! I once even GOOGLED, “Why can’t I just do One Thing?!??!” haha.
      A good friend of mine online, Emilie over at PuttyLike.com, calls us MultiPotentialites. We are just so awesome we’ve got potential in mulitples of things! 😛

      I think the best thing someone can do that’s passionate about many things is to find a creative way to combine a group of them. B/c for us doing just one of them and only one isn’t really the best route at times just b/c of how we work.

      I checked out your blog! Awesome chica! I definitely think you should start back up again 🙂 PS – so awesome you camped your way here from Minn!

      – Laur 🙂

  • I really resonate with what Jossie said above > “So the real problem with some people (i.e. me) is that we have a lot of interests and are talented at random things, BUT…we don’t know what our passion really is.”

    I think a LOT of people feel that sentiment. A million “interests” that you enjoy doing, but you’re not totally awesome at any of them. Yet. I’m definitely that type of person – but I’ve found that just going with ONE thing you enjoy, and focusing on it, allows you to a) discover if it’s really something you love doing, and b) opens up doors in that area that you never thought possible.

    I could have pursued a gajillion things at the start of {r}evolution apparel, and I had a gajillion plans. But just choosing and sticking with one thing at a time has REALLY helped me feel like I “have a passion” – which I NEVER thought I’d feel!

    This is an awesome post… I think you’re right on that the most inspirational thing when you’re on the edge and getting ready to jump in is seeing that other people are swimming…and learning new strokes… Loving checking out the people I haven’t met yet!

    • Hey Kristin!!!!
      haha oh man I was so there. A couple years back I definitely felt like I would NEVER feel what it’s like to say, “I have a passion” It was so frustrating!!! It took a lot of travel, a lot of trying new things, a lot of getting myself from not being stuck inside my head, and a lot stopping trying to have just ONE passion.

      Once I did that, things fell into place pretty quickly, and I think you know a thing or two about that 🙂

  • GREAT suggestions! Love looking for more inspirational ideas to help out around the world! Thanks!

    • Hey Connie!
      Thanks for the kind words!!!! I’d love to hear what your inspirational ideas are!!!
      – Laur 🙂

  • I loved this post because it’s an idea I’ve been trying to lead my life by: cultivating your passion. I started blogging in late January and it’s opened up many other avenues for me to cultivate stuff I love doing: Reading and writing reviews, learning about finance, connecting with other people with similar passions, etc. It also has enabled me to do what I love most- charitable fundraising.

    In March I did a fundraiser for the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue and now I’m doing a different fundraiser in honor of my dear friend who passed away last year to support a foundation in her honor and hopefully get a scholarship fund started in her name.

    Following one passion leads to innovation and growth into other arenas and venues that can get you fired up about life..it’s amazing how one passion spawns many others, with new inspirations, connections and mediums.

    🙂 Thanks for posting!

    • Hey Shannyn!!!!
      It’s actually been since January that I really got into blogging seriously and words can’t even describe how many doors it’s opened for me and how much it’s opened my mind as well!! It has been one of my greatest outlets for discovering my passions and then putting them to use!

      That is so amazing about the Northern Illinis Pug Rescue you did! I love love love self-starting people making the world a better place! You rock girl!!!! 🙂 Let me know if there’s any way I can help at all!!!!

      Cheers to being fired up about life!
      Laur 🙂

      • Thanks Lauren!
        If it suits you, I’d love for you to share the link to my current fundraiser: http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/mkfundraiser/ any way you see fit…it’d be appreciated!

        The more people that know, the more chances I have of hitting my goal and presenting the final total to Kassie’s parents on her birthday this summer. Losing a dear friend is hard enough, but remembering your child on her birthday is beyond words…I hope that celebrating her birthday by helping one of her favorite foundations will hopefully give them some comfort.

  • Meg

    It’s great that have you so much passion. I am the say way. When I want to do something, I do it. Regardless of what my friends and family think. My boyfriend and I (almostbohemian) are doing a world trip next year and my family thinks I am crazy but all it does is make me want to do it more. I think they are just jealous so acting like they think I am silly is easier. I started my blog to help organize my thoughts and it has brought out so many new adventures and ideas. Thanks for sharing your love and your go-get it attitude.

    • Hey Meg!!!!
      Hell yea girl! The best way to do anything is to DO IT. 😛 And I love it when people tell me that I’m being irrational or I'[m not thinking something all the way through… I just tell em’, “As long as I stay true, don’t give up, work my ass off, and DO what I say” I can do it dammit 🙂 And so far, while it hasn’t been the smoothest ride, it’s been a damn awesome one 🙂

      I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming trip around the world next year!!! I’ve chatted with your bf in the comments and on twitter here and there and he seems awesome! I’m going to be in San Diego in the beginning of JUNE for the Fox Road Trip and we’ll be hosting som travel meetups!

      Cheers to being awesomely crazy!!
      – Laur 🙂

  • I couldn’t agree with you more! We always try and give something back to the countries we have visited and it may be as little as helping out at the local school for a day volunteering for 4 weeks. Every little bit helps. You always take som much from the countries you visit. It is always good to give a little back 🙂

    • Hey Anthony!!
      Well I should know since you’re at Positive World Travel that you guys know a thing or two about giving back to whatever country you may be in. I have to say as much as I love seeing the sights, chatting with locals and foreigners, and doing all the other crazy awesome stuff that comes along with travel, one of my favorite things will always be the times that I’m giviung back a little and volunteering. It’s special, ya know?
      You guys rock!
      – Laur 🙂

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