Every June I’m lucky enough to spend time in some of the most impactful, mission-driven and energetic spots in the world – summer camps. I have the privilege of being invited to staff trainings and each year I fit in a handful. I travel to some of the most beautiful, remote spots around North America and talk to the 60-500 mostly young adults who have committed to spending 10 or so weeks in that spot doing nothing but keeping track of kids a few years younger than them, teaching them skills, soothing their hurts and celebrating their successes. We spend a day or two together talking about resilience – what it is, how to grow it and how to bring it out in others. And at the end of my time with these amazing humans I remind them of something they know:
“You will change lives this summer. You will even save a life this summer. You just won’t know whose.”
And that, my friends, is true of all of us. You will change someone’s life this week. It might be
- An employee who will work harder because you believe in them
- A co-worker who becomes more confident because you ask for assistance
- A loved one who will raise their expectations of relationships because of the way you treat them
- A stranger who will change their outlook because of the kindness you show them
Probably, you won’t know how much good you do. In our point-earning society, that can be a real challenge. I find myself that I’m not inclined to take as many steps if I’m not carrying a device that will count them, that I think about posting a picture of an achievement before I’ve even achieved it. We want credit – and there are neurochemical reasons for that.
Doing the good is good for you, though. Creating a positive impact in the world makes us more resilient. It strengthens our purpose and helps us navigate change. And you have no idea the good you’re doing for others! Big studies show that we underestimate the positive impact we have through small acts, so let’s start being proud of the good we do.
I’m paying attention. Comment and tell me something you did that you think might have had a positive impact on someone, even if you’ll never know for sure. I’m happy to give you credit because I know we are impacting others all the time, benefiting them and ourselves.
|All my best,