Have you ever thought just how much power you have to affect change?
You are just as powerful as Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa or Elon Musk. You are given the same ability that was given to them: the ability to be generative.
A ‘generative’ person is one who takes it upon themselves to act on what they want. They are an originator, an instigator, a generator.
This trait isn’t something we learn. In fact I think it’s something we unlearn.
As young kids we are always creating new adventures, pushing the envelope, seeking new horizons.
Yet we go through our school years, college and start working, we end up losing or forgetting the power we have to be generative.
We start to tell ourselves that we need permission to do something, or worse that we need to wait until the time is right before we do something.
I believe however that no matter how long you have been tricked into thinking you can’t influence the outcome, the power to change it is always within you.
A good example of a Generative person is Richard Branson. He started Student Magazine as a 16 year old teenager simply because he wanted to give students an “alternative to the stale publications and school magazines of the day.” He gathered a group of friends and got started on the process of writing an publishing a magazine.
After the magazine was in circulation, he started to understand that students liked to purchase music by mail order from the magazines, and this eventually led him to open a record store, and then a music label. At each step of his journey he was begin generative. He would decide to instigate, originate or generate a change, and would work with his teams to make it into a success.
You can do the exact same thing.
No matter what age you are, or how long since you have used your generative power, you have the same ability as Richard Branson to look at the world and change it however you want to. Your power to be a generative person is always within you.
What I have learned is that there are four simple ways to start to be generative:
1) Ask – the ability to ask for something you want is a master skill of life. If you can build up the courage to ask for help, advice, resources, or whatever you need, then this will help you make the change you want.
2) Invite – any real change in the world happens through people. You can’t do it all alone, and the best way to engage others is to invite them on a journey with you. Whether it’s building a social group or a business, you simply start by inviting people to join you.
3) Offer – Very often it is easy to think we just need to take something to get what we want. But the reality is typically the reverse. If we offer something of value to the marketplace, or a helping hand to another person, then this can affect a huge change in the world.
4) Suggest – If all else fails, you can always offer an idea or suggestion for others to try. You may not break through in your attempt every time, but if you feel strongly about making a change, over time you can be heard. Just remember to frame any suggestions from the perspective of the other person’s benefit to get maximum interest.
These four methods: ask, invite, offer and suggest are the best ways I know to be a generative person. I have discovered that the benefits to being more generative are that your self-confidence grows, and your sense of personal power is enriched.
At the end of the day, the world becomes exactly what we make of it. This is true in our personal lives and the large world as well.
If you are at a stage in your life where you feel frustrated or things aren’t going the way you want, remember that you have the power to be generative.