Daily Habits for Making a Difference

Jadav (Molai) Payeng was born into the Mising tribe in India. As a teenager he became concerned about the environment when he saw the forest he played in being destroyed by erosion. The forest had become a desert, seen here. He became employed by the forestry division along with others to plant trees to stop the erosion. This effort lasted for five years.

Jadav recognized that the effort to stop the erosion would not be successful unless it was sustained. He decided to remain behind to ensure the trees thrived. He also started a personal habit of planting one tree every day.

He struggled to find seeds at first. He especially wanted to plant a variety of trees. Over time, his trees thrived and would produce their own seeds. Eventually Molai’s forest extended over an area of 1,360 acres. (Click here to view the forest)

Molai and his family live in a small hut in the forest. He raised cattle and buffalo and sold their milk to sustain his family. He received no other funds.

The forest that Molai created is home to Bengal tigers, rhinoceros, monkeys, and a great variety of birds. Elephants will also venture into the forest. Molai’s efforts had largely gone unknown until the elephants were discovered on what the government thought was a desert.

Not many would believe that one person could create a forest but Molai did. He achieved this by forming a daily habit of planting a tree. He sustained this habit for 40 years. Molai received no government support and no help from outside of his own family.

Most people profess they want to make a difference with their lives, but don’t know how. Often making a difference is associated with being in a leadership position. Molai is an example of how a single individual can make a difference by forming a daily habit.

Just imagine how our society might change if each of us formed a daily habit toward making a difference? These habits don’t need to be grand, but they need to be sustained. The difference habit can be directed toward a societal impact like Molai’s. But they can also be directed at differences made in the lives of others. Just imagine how these daily habits will enrich your own life? Just imagine the freedom of making a difference which is not constrained by others. The joy of taking on your own quest to make a difference is far richer when such efforts need not be sanctioned by some official authority.                       

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“We build our character from the bricks of habit we pile up day by day.” – Zig Ziglar (author and motivational speaker)

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