I envy those who know exactly what it is they want to do and go after it with their entire heart and soul. I’ve spent most of my life using the energy of my heart and soul just trying to find what it is I want to do. What is that ONE thing that will make me want to get up early each morning and stay up late each night?
I’ve jumped from interest to hobby, from cause to bandwagon, but nothing has really fully fit. They were all nice and meaningful, but none of them were the thing I was looking for, and that’s passion.
I crave the passion, the drive and determination I see people using to change the world. I always wanted to be that person. Someone who would change the world. Someone who’d make a difference and help millions of people. The problem was I became obsessed with the “millions” and never focused on the one or two people I could help right now. My search for passion was railroaded by the obsession with impact and significance. I was always wondering if it was really worth my time.
I think we hear this argument a lot. “Why be a vegetarian? They’re still going to produce meat.” “Why should I vote? It’s all the electoral college anyway.” “Why help one homeless person when you’ll never be able to help them all?”
We have a constant tug of war between what’s the right thing to do and what’s the easiest. Or add another choice to the mix: What will have the most impact?
I recently read the book “God is Always Hiring: 50 Lessons for Finding Fulfilling Work,” by Regina Brett. Naturally, I picked it up because I thought Regina’s wisdom would help me find that single fiery passion I’ve been looking for all these years.
It’s definitely a good book, but not the magic bullet I was hoping to find. I did, however, take away a much more important lesson.
I’m paraphrasing this quote (but I think I’m close). Essentially Regina says, “If there’s something you can do to help someone, do it. If there’s something you can do to hurt someone, don’t.”
The quote itself seems simple and kind of obvious, but, in context, it makes sense and is quite profound.
If I remember correctly, she was speaking about her time as a reporter and being faced with the decision to release a victim’s names just to “have the scoop.” She realized releasing that young girl’s name wouldn’t help anyone, but in fact, would only hurt that one person–unfortunately, she realized this after publishing the name.
It was suddenly so simple. It’s not about changing the entire world, it’s about helping the person who’s in front of you right now. Because as Regina says, “you could be changing that one person’s entire world.”
It isn’t any news that small gestures have a ripple effect—but sometimes I need to step back and see how the ripples have drove my life in a direction I didn’t predict. I mean, I wouldn’t have the job I have today if someone hadn’t responded to a Twitter message and because of that, it’s fair to say, I’m where I am because of the kindness of others.
We don’t get where we need and want to be by going at it alone. No one ever has.
So maybe my “fiery passion” is simply being kind. As long as I can help even one person change their world for the better, I have an amazing reason to get up each morning.
The best way to change the entire world is by changing one small world at a time.