Ha Long Bay, 2017 #cindyproject

How to Be the Change Which You Wish to See in the World

Ha Long Bay, 2017 #cindyproject
Ha Long Bay, 2017 #cindyproject

How can we change the world?

1. What do you want to see?

The same goes to almost everything. Take photos which you would wish to see.

Write books you would like to read.

Design clothes that you would like to wear.

2. What are your preferences?

The problem is that we have no idea what the preferences of others are. But we very clearly know our own preferences.

For example, when I started to shoot street photography, I was frustrated by the lack of practical information on the internet on how to shoot street photography. I first complained to Cindy about this— but then she told me: “Why don’t you then start a blog on street photography, and how to shoot it?” I retorted back, “But I don’t know anything!” She then said, “Who cares— just learn for yourself, and share what you learn along the way. I’m sure there are a lot of other people like you out there who would want to learn.”

I took her advice, and started this blog. I first had no idea what I was doing — I just learned along the way.

Even now, I see this blog as a constant work in progress. All of my ideas are half-baked, and not fully ripe. I share with you some remedies and medicines and prescriptions which have worked well for me — which might (or might not) work for you.

Yet it is my own ignorance that has helped me help others.

For example, I remember when I would go to photography galleries, exhibitions, or museums— and I would have no idea who all these famous photographers were. People would always ‘name drop’ the names of famous photographers, and I nodded my head like I knew what they were talking about. I rushed home, and would Google these famous photographers, yet find no practical information. This is what led me to start writing the ‘Learn From the Masters’ series — distilling the wisdom of master photographers into practical bullet points or tips.

3. Take action

Gandhi said it the best — “Be the change which you wish to see in the world.”

We all want change. We are frustrated by what we see. But it is a waste of time to just sit and complain. The only thing we should do (and can do) is to go out and be the change we wish to see in the world.

For example, I cannot complain that everyone spends too much time on their phones, when I am addicted to my phone.

I cannot complain that others aren’t generous with information, if I hoard it for myself.

I cannot complain that people are lazy and all they do is play games and watch TV, when I myself get distracted by passive entertainment.

I think the height of wisdom is to take action in your life— and make changes in your personal life, which you wish (and hope) others to follow.

4. Scratch your own itch

Sorry, I got a bit off-track.

Going back to the point at hand— find your own personal troubles, frustrations, and angers — and find a solution for yourself. Then share that with others.

Scratch your own itch.

5. Ideas are overrated

I read recently how Elon Musk was tweeting while being stuck in LA traffic, and he was complaining about the congestion. He then thought to himself: how nice it would be to have a tunnel that would ‘bore’ underground, to relieve traffic. He humorously said, “I would call this company the ‘Boring’ company. ‘Boring’: it is what we do.” He then said, “Hey, this is actually a pretty good idea— I’m going to make this company.”

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Ideas are cheap. Ideas are useless unless we actually put them into action.

6. Implement solutions for others

What are some personal frustrations do you face in your life, and how could you offer those solutions to others?

Fix your own problems, and offer those solutions to others. This is how you can create value for others, and perhaps start your own business to help empower others.


Learn more: Philosophy >

Scroll to Top