We can all positively impact the world and these changes can take many forms. While many of us may not have the opportunity to make large, structural changes, we all have control over the relational impact we make. This means being mindful about the way you show up daily and being intentional with your interactions.
On the fifth episode of Impact Everywhere, we hear from Eugene Wong, a Culture Shaper who believes that all of us have the power to bring about positive change. Drawing on a unique skill set and experience, he empowers people to impact their spheres of influence more effectively. He has worked as a lawyer, a social worker, a theater producer, in local government and in not-for-profits.
In this episode, Eugene talks about making a difference in the world, and shares his personal journey of how he transitioned from a corporate career to a life of service. Despite how disparate these worlds seemed, he noticed parallels between the two and came to the realization that at the end of the day, everyone wants to be seen. He shares more about his work with homeless people, the Flourishing Framework he draws on to help people live richer lives, and why he believes that everyone can be helped. Eugene firmly maintains that each of us has a light within us, and no matter how dim it might seem, it’s still shining. This was a powerful conversation, so we hope you tune in today!
Listen at any of the following platforms, or for those of you who prefer to read, see our brief summary below.
Key Points From This Episode:
The 3 ways a person can have an impact on the world:
- The glamorous way (changing world in a big way)
- Helping systems to work more efficiently, and doing it with integrity
- Improving the lives of those around you by simply being yourself (bringing positive energy improves how individuals and groups work)
6 things that every person needs to flourish:
- Having basic needs met on a day-to-day basis
- A sense of belonging
- The ability to contribute to society and feel like your contribution is actually valued
- A sense of purpose
- The opportunity to celebrate and lament communally
- Spirituality or higher sense of meaning beyond ourselves
The Flourishing Framework in practice:
Eugene is part of the Center for Building Better Community which applies the Flourishing Framework to help people find better pathways out of homelessness. Simply giving people a house is different from giving them a home because it takes them out of their community where they have a sense of belonging. The idea is to find ways to maintain community and provide the above ways of ‘flourishing’ while helping people out of less fortunate situations. The Flourishing Framework was developed by Andre Van Eymeren.
The biggest difference between being a consumer and being a creator:
As a society we are trained to be consume, and there isn’t an actual purpose to it. When you’re a creator, there is an innate purpose for creating, versus just contributing to an economic structure. As our connectedness to things increases, our connectedness to others decreases and we can lose our sense of belonging. Thus, our sense of purpose and belonging can be derived from creating, among other things.
The transition from a corporate career to a more purposeful life:
At one point, Eugene noticed that CEOs and hustlers are not so different from one another. People just want to feel seen. We really are all the same at the core, and just have different ways of expressing it based on the different sets of privileges we are born with. Eugene worked directly with the homeless for a long time, but now with his vast education and experience, he wants to do the most good for the most amount of people by helping others make change.
Why Eugene believes anyone can be reached:
Don’t be afraid of the dark. If you believe the light you have to shine is a small, flickering candle, go shine it in the darkest place. Even the most grim situations can be helped, and small changes lead to bigger ones. If you can whisper in the ear of a CEO, their shift in mindset can change the direction of a company.
Rapid-fire questions with Eugene
- Biggest challenge you’ve ever had to face: Loneliness in leadership
- Most rewarding compliment you’ve ever received: “I feel heard”
- Last time you deeply cried, what did you cry about?: It would have been about compassion for someone else’s pain
• Eugene’s Ask/Offer/Question for the world
- Ask: Please make a difference. Please be fully yourself. Make change because the world needs you to make change
- Offer: To help, to collaborate, to be a sounding board for you in order to empower you to make change
- Question: What is the kind of world that you want the next generation to grow up in if everything went right, and if it was a perfect world, what would that look like? What is the step that you can take today to take us one step closer to that?
“We’re all exactly the same at the core. We just have different ways of expressing that.” — Eugene Wong [0:03:38]
“As a society, we have been trained to be consumers. When all you’re doing is consuming, there actually isn’t a purpose to it. Whereas, if you’re creating, there is a reason for you creating.” — Eugene Wong [0:10:05]
“Even the flickering light of a tiny, little candle is not weak enough to be put out by all the darkness in the world.” — Eugene Wong [0:13:09]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Eugene Wong on LinkedIn
Centre for Building Better Community
We will hear from Trent Clews-de Castella, co-founder of Phoria, which is an immersive technology company that has done campaigns for major brands from Netflix to the WWF. We will hear about the research and insights he’s acquired from collaborating with various hospitals to develop clinical trials based on the uses of immersive media. Don’t forget to tune in next week and subscribe here, or listen on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.