Are you making Contributions to the World?

Creating Value for Yourself, Others, and Society

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. ~Anonymous, Source — The Art of Possibility

On Mother’s Day and I saw one of the most touching videos I’ve ever seen celebrating all the mothers in our lives.

We definitely take our mothers for granted most of the time, and this video really stuck out to me as a fantastic array of all the amazing things mothers do throughout our lives that we forget about when we grow up.

I’ve been looking at entrepreneurship for a while and through all the self-development talks, books, experiences I’ve been through, one thought constantly jumps out at me.

What kind of value do you want to bring to the world?

Entrepreneurship is exactly the means to do that because you basically set out on a journey on your own or with a group of friends to bring a product or service that enhances people’s lives in some way that hadn’t been done before or tweaked/improved a process that was out-dated and now can be streamlined through the use of automation and technology.

BUT, seeing that video made me realize that there are so many other ways to bring value to others. Not by just starting a company, but in all the small little actions that you can do in every moment throughout your day.

Every moment is an opportunity to do good.

With a hint of a smile or flick of a high-five, you can brighten’s someone’s day in ways you may never even imagine.

There was a story I heard once (from somewhere I can’t even remember) of a man who was visited by a genie who would grant him one wish. And his answer I will always remember was one that has astonishes me to this day.

Let me do good wherever I go and not even know it.

And that really struck a chord with me, because it’s one thing to purposefully volunteer your Saturday to go feed the homeless, but most of us love doing community service or spreading goodwill because, we actually can see results and see the seed of goodness spread to those around us. Their brightened lives brightens ours and we become even brighter.

However, there is something that the man in that story said, and that was he wanted to “not even know it” which means he wanted to be good just for the sake of being good, unconditionally. It really means a lot to love someone unconditionally, that means, no matter what they do, no matter how horrible of a crime they’ve committed, you will still love them.

And that’s what mothers do, each and every day.

So, on this joyous day, ask yourself, how have I contributed today?

Contributions can range from sending a text message to someone you love, or planting a tree in a playground, or writing an article that spreads joy in the world.

I always think of the 4 T’s when I think about giving:

  1. Time (spent or volunteered)
  2. Talent (skills)
  3. Treasure (money or things)
  4. Thanks (gratitude or appreciation)

Those are the four buckets right off the bat that you can start contributing back to the world. Not only will you create value for another person, you’ll also help yourself in the process, and perhaps society at large!

There’s a clever way of looking at bringing value and contributions to society. We all have goals of helping the world, but we never build the skills to get there. But if we think of (thanks Scott Adams for this tip)…

Systems vs. Goals

Then whenever we are doing something, we should ask ourselves, “What kind of skills or relationships can I develop [by doing this]?

So when you volunteer at a homeless shelter, or give half of your hot dog to the man who’s down on his luck on the side of the road, you’re building up skills in kindness, and perhaps you’ll meet other people who believe in the same mission of spreading joy to others and you’ll maybe grow a community of like-minded people.

You don’t know what you’re practicing for exactly, but that’s what makes it a system and not a short-term goal that you can achieve.

Call To Action

Take 10 minutes and write down all the ways you contributed today.