I’ve got this neighbor.
He has the BEST yard. It’s immaculate.
Perfectly placed flowers. Sculpted shrubbery. Tasteful Christmas decorations.
He probably mows the lawn twice a week. I think he’s retired. His yard is so beautiful.
I saw him outside today, walking a pair of dogs. From a distance, you can’t tell them apart. Joy on eight legs with two fluffy tails, moving in tandem up the sidewalk.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the greater good. (“What outcome here would be the best for everyone? What actions can I take to have the highest possible impact, in my career and in the world?”)
And let me tell you something – when you start using words like best and highest, it can get paralyzing.
You can do a lot of nothing. You can throw your hands up. There’s a variety of possible avenues, and all of them start to seem pointless. Highest outcome? I don’t know. We’re all going to be dead soon, so who cares?
It can get pretty bleak.
But think about my neighbor.
This guy and his yard and his dogs bring me SO MUCH JOY.
It’s easy to see that he loves his yard. Working outside probably brings him a great deal of satisfaction and personal happiness.
Is it possible that doing the things that bring us satisfaction and joy is a form of putting good into the world? Even if it’s something private, like yoga, or art?
Maybe by filling up your own well, you’re able to respond better to others. Maybe doing the things you care about, and doing them well, is a roundabout way of positively impacting the people you encounter. Maybe the things we love bring joy to others, too.
I hope you’re doing the things that bring you joy.