Most humans have a strong desire to leave behind a significant legacy and this is especially true in my friendship circle. As amazing as it is to acknowledge that our hearts are in the right place, there’s been a major tactical error on our part and it’s the direct result of our society’s obsession with quantification.
We’ve become so obsessed with grandiosity and surplus and it has trickled down into everything we do. We waste an alarming amount of time comparing ourselves to others and trying to measure the potential impact of what we can do to help and we’ve lost perspective in the process.
If you’ve been following this blog then I’m sure you know that I draw most of my inspiration from conversations with my peers…
I recently met an incredibly fascinating human (he’s currently working on a project to end intergenerational poverty in a mid-sized US city – no big deal!)! In the midst of explaining how he (and his team of equally remarkable humans) are working to achieve this, he said something that genuinely gave me goosebumps – “it’s not enough for me to just live in a great city, I’m going to BUILD a great city!”
During a recent conversation with another friend, he mentioned feeling like he has yet to do something spectacular in life. My response to him was, “how many people do you have to help to be a good person? You don’t need to help hundreds of people! Even if you only ever truly help one person, shouldn’t that be enough? And if that one person is yourself – isn’t that in itself spectacular?”
Polar opposite conversations with two like-minded individuals. The only real difference is in their approach – I am already changing the world and I’ll continue to do so for as long as I can vs. I want to change the world but don’t know if what I can do will be significant enough.
My advice to friend #2 (and to all of you) – let go of the quantitative expectations you’ve set for yourself and realize that the macro vs. micro is truly the most insignificant part of the equation. In reality, good is good and will always be good.
Till next time! xo