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I used to be a little insane, just a bit crazy. Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

That was definitely the insane and crazy me. Then I realized if I wanted my results to be different I needed to change my behavior. I learned that three things could change my results, and my life:

  1. Desire… You need to really want to change.
  2. Commit… Make the commitment to yourself and to really add power commit out loud to someone else.
  3. Persist… NEVER give up until you make the changes, until you reach the goal, and are enjoying different results.

At age 60, I took up running. I started to make small changes that gradually improved my fitness level, and I eventually ran a 5K for the first time in my life. I actually had the fastest time in 60-65 yr old women’s category…

Well… maybe there were only two of us in that age group… but I was the fastest!

I had the desire, I made the commitment and then I persisted until I reached my goal.

That same year I also decided I wanted to save more money. I started dropping a few dollars into a jar every day. At the end of the month I was amazed at how much I had collected. Now I deposit at least $100 a month into my savings account. I have been doing that for a year now.

I had the desire, I made the commitment, and then I persisted, and continue to persist in my new habit.

But by far the most dramatic example of small change came as a result of working with AIDS orphans in Zambia last summer. While I was there I recognized a desperate need for a school. When I returned home I made up my mind to help the children by raising the $50,000 needed.

I had the desire.

As a retired teacher I started with the world I know best, my local school district. My “new” career is speaking in local schools to raise money. I am committed.

The response from children is amazing; they willingly donate their small change and show genuine concern for their African brothers and sisters.

However my program is about much more than money. The small change that I see as so powerful is that now young children are thinking more globally, they are developing an awareness of those in other parts of the world who are less fortunate.

Most importantly, they are learning that they can make a difference, even in a small way, and that if enough of us work together to make small changes we can have a big impact. That is the lesson I teach.

A small change can have a big impact in your world… small change can have a big impact in the world.

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Rosemary Holmes-Gull M.Ed., was in elementary education for 30 years, first as a teacher of young children and later in teacher education.

Now in her retirement she is following her passion to inspire and motivate through her writing. She is the author of "Imagine That: A Picture Book of Possibilities." She donates part of all proceeds from her book to Mothers Without Borders, an organization that works with AIDS orphans in Zambia.

She went to Zambia to work with the orphans in the summer of 2009. She now speaks to local schools and organizations as part of her effort to raise money to build a much needed school for the children in Africa. 

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