The world is changing. These are heady days, and our world — wherever we live — is not what it used to be. It is evolving quickly, often in ways we do not understand or wish for. It makes sense that we want to rush to action, to thrust ourselves into the causes we care about and to halt the social regression. And, to make the most impact while honoring one another and ourselves, conscious activism must be the answer. What the world so desperately needs is an increase in the level of human consciousness.

Read on to find out how and why slowing down to go faster helps us stay the course to run the marathon ahead.

1. Choose ‘How You March’ Wisely and In Connection to Your Values.

Each of us has an essential role to play in being a force for good, resisting what’s unjust, and creating positive change. ‘How we march’ and how we choose conscious activism to create impact is unique to each of us. Take the time to strategize and come up with your plan of action.

Each of us has an essential role to play in being a force for good, resisting what’s unjust, and creating positive change. Tweet This Quote

Give yourself permission to think through which cause(s) you feel most passionate about and why. What are the top one or two areas you want to focus on? Mid-term elections, reproductive rights, immigration, social justice, the environment, education? There are many ways we can take action. We can volunteer our time to organizations that resonate for us; we can offer financial support to these organizations; we can also begin our own local movements; and we can even run for office (check out Incite for guidance and support). But, be selective. Time is precious and your time is precious.

Stay mindful and give yourself space to explore what is important to YOU based on your values and areas where you have the most energy. Although you may care about many causes, it’s important to focus to avoid burnout.

2. Create and Lean Into a Support Network.

None of us can singlehandedly solve the vast set of global challenges we face today. Leaning into family and friends is a critical part of creating impact and taking care of ourselves at the same time. If you’re unsure where to start, begin by speaking to those close to you, and consider starting an activist support group.

What seems impossible to you at this moment can change if you make the effort. Tweet This Quote

Human beings need one another. We are better together, stronger as a group. We give each other energy, creativity and often peace. One can never underestimate the power of a hug or a smile from even a stranger. Take time to be with fellow humans. We will achieve more.

3. Take The Long View, The Historical View.

The human spirit is more resilient than we know and may have previously experienced. Trust that there is something good coming next, and that we have the power to co-create that together.

We’ve witnessed darker times before. The Great Depression, The Holocaust, nuclear proliferation, every type of systematic discrimination you can imagine, and people found ways to stand up, speak out, and hold humanity accountable for a better world. Impossible things become possible. What seems impossible to you at this moment can change if you make the effort.

Much of what we take for granted today once would have sounded like mere dreams: universal education, outlawing slavery, instant access to the world’s knowledge base.

The human spirit is more resilient than we know and may have previously experienced. Tweet This Quote

We have gone from wild dreams to commonplace reality again and again — but it does take time. We must not forget to apply a long lens to make changes. Learn from examples that have gone before, ask questions, read. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The world needs you at your best. We need you to care, to be smart, to bring your full heart. And also to stay sane, to still laugh, to love, to enjoy the life that you so dearly wish for all people. Please take a stand, and show your support. The world needs you more than ever, vibrantly marching.

Additional contributions made by co-editors Elise Falcone Rankin, Rebecca England and Sherri Rose.

About the author

Jane Finette

Jane Finette

Jane is obsessed with accelerating social change and a strong voice and advocate for women. She is the Executive Program Manager for Mozilla's Office of the Chair, and also the Founder of The Coaching Fellowship, an international non-profit providing executive coaching fellowships supporting young women leaders of impact to solve some of the world’s grand challenges at scale. A former Entrepreneur in Residence at Astia, a non-profit that helps high growth companies by women succeed, Jane cares deeply about women and girls reaching their full potential. For the first half of her career, Jane held senior global marketing roles at leading high-tech companies including eBay and Mozilla. She serves as an advisory board member to social impact organizations, and is also the co-founder of the social mentoring organization Mentor For Good.

  • Ryan Janeczek

    I really enjoyed reading this article. In times like where we are now when the future seems uncertain many people worry to themselves instead of actively trying to fix it. Many people who have been so passionate about an issue such as abortion, civil rights, and universal healthcare have stepped back now that Trump is president. I believe that is a dangerous mentality and really like how the article encourages the opposite. I also believe that these steps can be used in other smaller uncertain times. As a college student the weight of multiple exams, homework assignments, and research papers can make me feel anxious and nervous. I really do believe that taking the time to prioritize what to spend my free time on, leaning on friends and family for support, and looking at the big picture and realizing a poor performance on a test my freshman year won’t ruin my career can help the anxious feelings subside.

  • Rachel Wilcox

    I agree with you, Ryan. Especially being a freshman in college, myself, it can be really stressful when it comes to handling school work, exams, and everything else we have to do. In addition to these suggestions, I also think that one of the most important things is learning how to prioritize your time correctly. Especially with school work, it’s all about prioritizing and understanding what’s necessary to get done immediately and what’s not necessary. Along with this, with all this political mayhem going on, people really are lacking on standing up for what they believe in. I believe that since Trump was elected, they probably think it’s not even worth their time to stand up for what they believe in. I also agree with your point that it’s a dangerous mentality, but what if the people doing this have a point? Maybe we can’t fix things, or maybe we can! To fix this mentality, we need to show everyone that we can make a difference regardless of our president. Everyone needs to stand up as one instead of staying divided and making things worse.

  • Sharon

    This article rings so true to me, as I’m sure it does to a lot of other people who were as shocked as I was when the current administration was voted in. Although, I do think a lot of people, the ones who voted this administration in, see it differently. Unfortunately, even a majority of my own siblings and closest friends are on opposite end of the spectrum as me on being happy with who is representing us as POTUS. I am sure they don’t feel the need to “get involved” and “make changes” as I imagine they think the person they voted in is going to make things better. I have made up my mind to definitely get more involved because there are so many issues that I believe the current administration is going to ignore or make worse. I liked how the article advised to only pick 1-2 areas to focus on because, honestly, all of the ones listed in the article are important to me. I did choose one though and really appreciated the advice on how to best go about tackling jumping in to make the most impact!

  • Sharon

    Rachel, unfortunately I am doubtful we’re ever going to “stand up as one” as I believe there will always be a division in this world around major issues, just as history shows. I think most of the people who voted for Trump did so because he stands for what they believe in, such as deporting immigrants, that the environment isn’t a priority and there’s no such thing as global warming, etc. There will always be differences in what people believe is important. I think the only thing we can do is become activist for what we believe in by working to educate the rest of the world on the pros and cons around the issues that are most important to us.

  • Melissa Grover

    Thank you for this article, Jane. I hear many people speaking on their views, and outrage, towards the current state of our country while I’m just walking around campus. I definitely agree with your point that people can be passionate about many things, but should be selective with the causes they put their energy towards. I feel that this concept can be easily related to the concept of a burnout in bodybuilding. Although bodybuilders want to train all muscle groups so that they achieve a balanced body, they must focus their energy towards a few groups, or one group, per day so that they don’t overwork themselves; this strategy allows for a more efficient allocation of energy and provides better results. By having everyday individuals focus on what causes truly matter to them, they will dedicate their time effectively and stay mindful. As for your second point, how would you suggest a person to grow a support network if their friends or family have opposing views? I know that on my school campus, many people share similar political views, but there are groups of individuals that have differing views and remain very outspoken.
    I really enjoyed the fact that you’re encouraging people to stay true to themselves and stand by their views, as the world has definitely seen rougher times. Although this seems like a low point for our country, I do believe that there’s always potential for situations to become worse, so it’s important for people to remain grateful while also standing up for their rights.

  • Henry Newman

    I also agree with you about how people should be selective with the causes they put their energy towards. I think you have a great analogy about the body builders and how it works the same way with what causes people should focus on. Of course, it’s good to be passionate about many different issues, so I also strongly agree with people focusing on their most passionate things to make a change. There’s not enough time in the day to focus on all passions that individuals have, like the article states. For growing a support group of like-minded people, I think that’s easy for most. It’s not like everyone you know will have opposing views that you could not form a network. In my experience, all my friends and family have opposing views to some things, but there are always similarities between them. That’s why we are friends and have formed a family. Another point I would like to add is that you don’t have to rely on the people you know. You can join organizations, non-profits, or anything else to focus on to keep up your well-being in these uncertain times. Anyway, I like how this article was really optimistic and not negative in these uncertain times. This is shown with how low President Trump’s approval ratings are. This means most of the country has not liked Trump’s actions. We need to take advice from this article and focus our energy to what matters most to us to stay sane.