“For every real-life maverick out there, there are a thousand dreamers, people with great ideas about how to make the world a better place but unsure of whether they should try to make them real. If only there were a handbook to show them the way. Now there is. Would-be world-changer: Meet your very own ‘How-To’ guide.

How To Know If You’re The One:

So you have an idea. You’ve tossed it around at parties. Your friends think you’re brilliant. (And, of course, you are.) But do you have what it takes to be a successful maverick? The first thing to ask yourself, says career coach and ‘Have Fun ? Do Good’ blogger Britt Bravo (havefundogood.blogspot.com) is: Are you obsessed? Does your idea keep you up at night? Has it grabbed hold of you and won’t let you go? Your answer has to be a resounding yes. The life of a maverick is filled with overwhelming obstacles and roadblocks. You need extraordinary stamina and passion to keep going when it looks like the odds are against you.

Next, ask yourself: How much are you willing to give up for your idea? A few years back, journalist Cristi Hegranes struggled to understand the story of a Nepalese woman she was interviewing. In desperation, Hegranes gave the woman her notebook and asked her to write her own story. What came back was an eloquent piece of journalism. The young writer realized that local people could probably tell their own stories as well or better than foreign correspondents. She created the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World (piwdw.org) to create journalism training programs in Nepal and Mexico. Another institute opens in Rwanda this year.

Hegranes’ work around the clock does not draw a penny from the organization’s budget. Instead, she bartends on weekends to support herself. ‘I know all these people who have wonderful ideas about how to make the world a better place,’ she says, ‘but when push comes to shove they’re not willing to make personal sacrifices to make it happen.’

(via Common Ground)