How to Become a Hero c.j. hayden
   How to Become a Hero
   You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For

   C.J. Hayden, MCC

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New Year's revolution 

Every January, many of us spend a few moments thinking about what we want to do differently in the year to come. Typically, these resolutions focus on improving our lives. We resolve to exercise more, eat less, earn more, spend less, find a better job, or improve our health.

So here's a revolutionary idea -- what if this time around, you made a New Year's resolution to improve the lives of others? Look around you at whatever conditions in the world most often make you mad, sad, or frustrated. Are you fed up with our political leaders? Touched by the plight of earthquake victims in Pakistan? Angry that the world's poorest people are suffering while corporate greed seems at an all time high? These are all issues where one person can make a difference.

My first revolutionary resolution this year is to find ways of making my aid to others direct and personal. I notice that when I think about problems on a global scale, I often feel overwhelmed and hopeless. But if I see something I can do to help one small group of people directly, I feel energized and can take positive action.

Here's an example of that principle at work. I recently found out about Kiva, a microlending program that allows individuals to loan funds directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world. With the investment of tiny amounts of capital, these small businesses can provide a means of earning a living to their owners, the owner's family, and others in the community. When you visit Kiva's web site, you'll see a list of businesses that need microloans to get started or grow. Most businesses need amounts as small as $300-500, and you can loan as little as $25. These are loans, not grants or donated aid, and the funds go directly to the entrepreneur described on the site.

I decided to loan money to Agnes Ochieng, operator of a restaurant called Good Feeding in Tororo, Uganda. Agnes needed $300 to buy equipment for her restaurant, which employs five people in her village. And I feel a whole lot better about having loaned $300 to Agnes than if I had written a check to an aid agency so they could send food to Africa.

What will be your revolutionary idea in 2006? One person's resolution can make a significant difference in the lives of others. Is that one person you?

P.S. My "How to Become a Hero" teleconference discussion forum starts Jan. 10. We'll begin by discussing Step 1: Develop your heroic qualities. My story above is an example of how to put yourself in situations that evoke your higher self, an important aspect of this step. Please join us!

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