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64 Pounds of Purpose

I really really believe my kids can change the world. More than anything, I hope they grow up believing that their gifts and talents all the stuff that they love and are great athave the power to make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.

I think we are all so beautifully and uniquely different, and I love seeing people's talents used to make the world a better place (sounds cheesy + idealistic, but I am a believer in Creating Common Good.more about that in the weeks to come).

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I also think most of us learn by watching others and through experience, which is why I think that there are a few steps to helping kids and others learn to love helping others and doing work that is fulfilling:

1. Demonstrate it. Whether you're a stay at home mom or an investment banker, your work has great purpose. And doing it with gusto is one way your kids can learn that work matters. Is your work fulfilling? Are you helping make clients lives, businesses, or organizations be more effective? Are you relieving stress? Are you bringing creativity and innovation to your team or home? Are you always looking for ways to make your office or home more enjoyable? Work mattersand most of us spend a LOT of time doing surely we should enjoy it and recognize the value of our work.

2. Give as a Group. All of us have something to give. Most of us have lotstime, talent, money, connections, knowledge, skills training, stuff (like frequent flyer miles, if you have an abundance, I'll gladly help put them to good use!)..why not invite your family to determine how and where you give, together? I'm reading a great book called, "The Power of Half"- the story of a family that sold their house and gave half of what they have away, after being prompted by their 15-year old daughter who recognized the disparities between the homeless in Atlanta and everyone else. The joint decision making process and the project of it all bonded the family and built them all in a way they never could have imagined. Remember, when you give, you get a lot more out of lifethe same is true for your kids (why not start early?).

3. Think Outside the Box. I've recently become obsessed with surprises. How can you challenge your family and/or your work team to give back in meaningful ways? Maybe you can surprise someone? What if you showed up on a neighbor or friend's doorstep with an unexpected dinner you made for them? Or what if you and your kids went around the house and packed up a box of toys for kids who could really use them and delivered them together? Or what if you gave anyou held a competition in the office to raise funds for an cause you care about (or encouraged everyone to raise funds for the cause they care about)? Maybe you leave a very large tip for someone who went the extra mile to serve you. Or maybe you get everyone on your team a $5 Starbucks card for the great effort they've been putting forth. Or maybe you write a handwritten letter to a friend you haven't connected with in a while telling them all the ways they make your life and the lives of others richer. There are loads of fun ways to surprise and givethey'll be just as fun for you as they are for the recipients.

4. Highlight Gifts. Whether you're at home or in an office, make sure to mention when someone is giving above and beyond or doing what they're good at, and when it's producing great results. Reinforce the talent and skills that are uniquely making an impact. If your child thoughtfully shares his toys with a sibling, it may not seem like much, but let him know how much joy it brings you to see him sharing. He will begin to recognize the joy of 'giving' in different ways. If a team member has exceeded monthly goals, recognize it and point out how he or she used their talents to do so. We all need to be reinforced to use our talents to make a difference.

5. Do What You Love, It Shows. It's easy to be good at doing what you love, and it is fun to do what you love. So in essence.have fun (your kids can tell if you hate your jobwhether that is parenting or a variety of other jobs). And if you're not having fun, maybe you need to make some changes? I do what I do not because 'I should' or because it pays big bucks, I do the work I do because I love it, it matters, and I was made for it. It's taken great risk, and challenge after challenge to get here (they keep coming), but it's so worth it. My life is rich in ways I could have never imagined. And, I want to set an example for my kids to do something that they love and are great at, and that ultimately will impact others in a positive way (even if it's risky).

Purpose comes in a variety of shapes and sizes..but I think we all have to 'take the long view' at the things we want those around us to learn over time. What inspires you? These 64 pounds (growing quickly) keep me fueled for change.

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Posted in Other Home Post Date 10/28/2016






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