Who do you believe you are? It’s an odd, but profound question to ask, but who you believe you are today will go a long way toward determining who you will be tomorrow, and how you will act right now.

When someone says they’re trying to become something, or hoping to be something, there’s a different expression on their face and a different cadence in their voice than when they will do it, or they are doing it. If someone is unsure, they’re going to communicate uncertainty. But if someone is confident, if they are sure of their target, that confidence is communicated in the words they speak and the look on their face. Confidence inspires, encourages and leads.

One of the joys we have at Common Change is helping communities become what they had previously only hoped to be. Much of the time, it starts with moving from a place of saying I want, or I hope to taking the next step. From “I want” to “I will”. Before putting together a plan, inspiring others to join in, and turning the Titanic, you have to ask yourself one question that will make all the difference: Who are you? The answer to that question will determine your ability to take the next step.



Using Your Time Wisely

There seems to be a plethora of ways to distract ourselves today. The ability to access virtually anything on a whim gives us a freedom we have never had. But this freedom has made us all the more distracted. Go into most public spaces, or look into the car next to you while driving, and it’s likely you’ll find plenty of people gazing into their phone. I know because I’ve been one of those people. In the book of Proverbs, the writer addresses this tendency. “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.”

Time is our most precious resource. Why don’t we treat it that way? Whatever it is that you are doing, do it well. My theater teacher used to say “with gusto!” To live with “gusto” way takes a single-mindedness, a focus on what’s important. What’s most important to you? Does the way you spend your time reflect that same importance?

Common Change Generosity Dinners are created to build a rhythm, a time set aside, for thinking about and valuing those around us. By setting aside an evening to think about the needs of those around us, we are attempting to say to our neighbors, “you are worth my time.”

Who is worth your time today? Don’t wait to make sure they know it.

Let Yourself Be Inspired

Each one of us has something to contribute. That’s the truth. But many times we don’t feel that way. We are told we are not enough, that we’re not ready, and that we lack what is needed, by others. And even by ourselves. The lies we are told can hold us back from the gifts we were made to give.

At younger ages it can easier to be faithful to our creativity and our dreaming than to our security. That seems to flip as we get older. But it doesn’t have to. There are steps each of us can take today to use those inspired parts of ourselves and use them. It could be singing, teaching, serving or learning, what is it that you long to contribute? Don’t let fear turn you against your playful heart. Let yourself be inspired again. You might be surprised at the impact it has–on you, and on those around you.

“Don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Our Generosity Dinners

My very first internship when I arrived in the fall of 2012 in Austin, TX was with, a platform inspired by the sharing economy but more than that, in an effort to live out our lives the way Jesus describes in Acts 4:32: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

The mission of the platform was simple— love your neighbors as your stuff. Meet needs together.

AOS is in a large (and crazy exciting) shift right now, but our original core team has adopted a few traditions in the meantime. Aside of our monthly “Festival of Friends” (we’re cheesy) dinners with overly competitive taboo, Brian partnered up with Common Change and once every two weeks we host what is called a “Generosity Dinner.” It is a large group of friends- some old, some new- who gather on the top of the Whole Foods rooftop and…

We eat dinner,
we put our money together,
we talk about people we know who are in need,
we decide who to help bless that week.

At one of our first dinners

We also realize that sometime someone’s need isn’t monetary though, so we have gathered together and written letters of encouragement before and staggered the send outs so that the person got one letter a week. Not only are Generosity Dinners a great way to practice loving others, but it also forces you to be reflective. It is so easy to get on an auto-pilot and not actively love the people in our lives and even if we do see their struggle or need, to not stop and think: “What can I do?”

So share the love! Try hosting a generosity dinner with your friends and neighbors. Be the blessing!