By Thomas McGreevy.
Someone very close to me started a business recently and it gave me the opportunity to witness a significant shift in her posture, a shift that I think we all could use.
This person has always been a hard worker and never shied away from responsibility, but I don’t think she found much satisfaction in her work before she started the business. I noticed how she would spend the small spaces of free time she had looking for ways to make her life better or more enjoyable. This often took the form of browsing around in search of something interesting to buy or planning some kind of home improvement project that would revitalize her living space. There is nothing wrong with these activities by the way, but no purchase or enhancement brought lasting satisfaction.
One day she discovered a craft that she enjoyed and that she was really good at. There was nothing obvious to be gained by pursuing it, but it was clear to me that she loved it. She started spending her free time immersed in this craft and eventually began giving her work away. People were truly inspired by her art and a small group of “fans” quickly formed.
Today, she has a successful business with a substantial following of admirers and customers. Recently she started a new initiative where she gives her work to children who are dealing with really difficult circumstances and she uses the opportunity to tell their story. Her focus has turned from what she might consume that could enhance her life, to making art and giving it to people who appreciate it. She is doing work that matters. She is more alive now than I have ever seen her before.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
People have an insatiable appetite for something offered from another person’s heart. We are thirsty for it. Our natural impulse is to go and search for it so that we can acquire it and consume it. This consumption-based pursuit of happiness is common these days. I think we all know just how frustrating and disappointing it is. I’m beginning to realize that offering something of your own is the most satisfying thing you can do. The world is thirsty for it and you were designed to give it.
Begin pursuing what’s in your heart and find a way to give it to the world.
I can’t tell what that thing is but I know it is in you and I know that the world needs it. It could be encouragement, insight, your beauty, your art, a story, your experience, a recommendation. Begin giving and I think you will find ravenous people coming back for more.
This kind of giving, from your heart, is where real satisfaction lies.
By the way, the person I am referring to above is my wife. She is a fantastic cake designer and she is constantly finding new ways to touch people with her art. Check her out at mcgreevycakes.com/blog. I am confident that her “McGreevy Cakes With Love” initiative is going to have a huge impact!