Illustration: Jen Troyer

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Once, on a road trip in the middle of nowhere, I saw a banner in a dusty church that read, "When I Change, the Whole World Changes." It's a good, hard thing to remember: Although you may be a powerful person, you are not so powerful that you can make everyone else do what you want them to do. Willing the world to appreciate you, or wanting (with every ounce of your being) for things to be different? Not going to make a lick of difference. Work is terrible—so talk to your boss. You're exhausted and stressed-out—so get some rest, make time for a yoga class, say no to the PTA meeting. You had a fight with your best friend that left you feeling a vague sense of despair—so send her some flowers, or at least one of those really funny Someecards. You are the agent of change. You must be.

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