Our actions change the world around us. Like the metaphorical butterfly flapping its wings, every step we take, decision we make, actively makes a change. This includes the choice we make every day to be present...or to let the world slide by.
This isn't easy.
Every time you challenge the status quo, challenge the way "it's always been done," you become Sisyphus pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill. It can take momentous effort for the tiniest changes, even if everyone agrees it's for the best.
That's daunting, and gets old pretty quickly, no matter how optimistic you are at the start.
Momentous, sweeping change is an illusion. Whether it's a rebellion or a merger, real change comes from the incremental actions of each day, of the small actions spiraling into big ones, of the ideas of the few spreading to the many.
This mindset sits behind the agile development and project management methodology we practice on my team. We constantly adjust, iterate, and make better after continuous testing. The tiny changes we make during a sprint adds up into the final product, one that reaches higher than it could if we made all the changes at once.
On a personal level, the same rings true. Declaring on January 1 that your life will never be the same is romantic at best, naive at worst. Our new year's resolutions don't just happen because it's the new year. Whether you want to volunteer more or read more, you decide to do that every day of the year. We have to continuously think about our resolutions, act on them, and reflect on our progress.
That's how we make real change. Not as dramatic, or as exciting. Innovation takes more than a big idea. It takes those deciding moments, "I will do it differently today."