How good are you at embracing something completely new? What would life look like if a few more of us jumped into the unknown and just figured it out as we go? Even amateurs change the world.

Today we may inspire you, expand your sense of what is possible, and introduce you to a few unlikely heroes.

If 2017 turns out to be a better year for everyone, it may be because more ordinary people, like all of us, amateurs, decide to commit to something completely new.

We may even, already know what that formula looks like! Think:

The ALS ice bucket challenge: it was started by great people who were ordinary folks exactly like you and I. (Today you’ll learn their story.)

A 14-year-old who built a nuclear fusion reactor in his garage: he used things like Fiesta Ware dishes and smoke detectors, old alarm clocks. (We’ll hear that story too!)

Have you ever thought you might start a new community movement, open a small business, or take charge of a problem that needs a champion?

I suspect that sometimes we hold back because we don’t want to suffer through that amateur stage or we don’t think we have the resources to begin a new adventure. Today we’ll learn about a number of people who point a way forward for us all!

Get your favorite beverage and curl up with this inspiring and fascinating podcast from the TED Radio Hour.

Amateurs Changing the World

First up, let’s hear the delightful story of the world’s greatest teenage garage project:

Amazing. Did you catch the fact that he has never gone through the ordinary course of study? This reveals the possibility in becoming self-taught if you have enough passion and access!

Now, by definition, amateurs who become experts in a completely new area, are self-taught, mostly through the school of hard knocks. Here’s that story about how all the dumping of ice buckets became a worldwide phenomenon:

And how about the things we learn about ourselves and the world when we immerse ourselves in something completely new? Next up, some great insights about how much our behavior changes our thoughts.

This speaker lives the “fake it until you make it” philosophy. Here’s a guy who has made a life out of being an amateur…

Isn’t TED Radio Hour fantastic? Produced by NPR, they’re spreading some awesome ideas. Make sure to take a moment to check them out!

“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than to think your way into a new way of acting.”

I love that quote from that last fabulous web-share. It may be a great fall back position as we think about the way we want to create 2017 for ourselves.

Here’s a little more inspiration:

We’ve already written many articles about amateurs who just followed their passions and changed the world seemingly by accident. Take a look at a few of our favorites:

14 minutes

Foolishness Saves the Fishing Cat

Learn how one seemingly foolish photographer has started a conservationist movement that may save an entire species of special fishing cats.

Read More

21 minutes

Struggling Successfully: 5 Phrases for Your Future

Here's someone who reminds us that (as he says): “If your dreams aren’t scaring you, then you are not dreaming big enough.”

Read More

18 minutes

One Teenager, Changing the World for Many

At age 14, Easton LaChappelle met a 7 year old girl who had a prosthetic arm. The limb could only open and close, and yet it cost $80,000. He thought he could do better, and do it for under $1,000. He set to work in his bedroom, and later the family garage.

Read More

Better yet, have you read our story here at EWC? (You can do that by clicking here.)

Image: stacking a small rock cairnWe were in the same boat as many “starters”: We had no background what-so-ever in anything needed for this website, no funding and no connections.

But we saw a problem: someone needed to start changing the negative dialogue about our world without any other agenda.

After a long fruitless search on the web for such a place, we decided it was going to have to be us! Now the website you are visiting – with no agenda and no advertising – has over 100,000 views a month from 190 countries!

Yes, amateurs can make the world a better place in a big way, and you can join us on this project too! You can join our team,  send us article ideas in the form of a simple link. We have “guest writers”, and some people happily just spread the word for us on social media, others simply subscribe and live happier lives. A sense of possibility is contagious!

Here’s an easy and positive New Year’s Resolution:

Make time in the new year to take in one promising EWC news story each day about the innovation and insight still plentiful in the world, maybe to begin your day better or end it on a positive note before you turn in for bed.

Happy New Year!

Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to start the new year right?

Dive into a few more positive articles here at Ever Widening Circles (EWC).

We are changing the negative dialogue about our world by publishing carefully fact-checked news about innovations and insights uncelebrated in the mass media!

You can scroll down to the bottom of this page for a few more articles I can recommend, or head to our homepage to scroll down there through our archives, sure to put a spring in your step and expand your knowledge about what is really going on in this world.

Want to be adventurous? Try our new “Surprise Me!” button! Then once you land somewhere, try something new, and dive into the article there, even if you don’t think you will be interested!

EWC Insider Tip: you can always find the Surprise Me button in the sidebar on every page!



  1. “Amateur Hour: What Does It Take To Produce Nuclear Fusion — In Your Garage?.” TED Radio Hour. 14 Aug. 2015. NPR. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <>.
  2. “Amateur Hour: How Did A Simple Challenge Become A Worldwide Phenomenon?.” TED Radio Hour. 14 Aug. 2015. NPR. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <>.
  3. “Amateur Hour: How Does A Year Of Following Biblical Rules Change You?.” TED Radio Hour. 14 Aug. 2015. NPR. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!