Purpose – beats Prozac

How often do you skip home from work on Monday evening, with a crazy grin?  And how often do you drag your deflated self home, feeling two days older rather than one?  I expect most would agree that finding a way to improve that ratio would be brilliant.

I think one answer lies in focusing a bit less on what you’re doing (your short term results), and more on why you’re doing it.

Yesterday I popped a quid into the collection can of someone collecting for the Greater London Fund for the Blind.  The man asked if I’d stop and talk, and described how he had barely been able to fill a can of change all day.  I asked how that made him feel, and he sadly replied that he felt he was letting blind people down today.

He went on to show me his performance report for the year so far – he has raised almost £50,000.  We started talking about the projects that the charity was running.  Having noticed that the organisation hopes to raise £4m this year, we worked out that that £1 in every £80 for each of these projects was coming through his cans, which is pretty impressive.

He became very animated, so did I.  Now he described why he was so committed to, and fulfilled by, helping such a fantastic cause; that the long, hard hours and rejection were worth it.

Who cares about the cans today!  We hugged.  We had both realised something important.

There is real power in the positive energy that comes from being able to link your actions to a cause.  And it can so easily be derailed by worrying about short term results – this applies to charity volunteers, bankers and everyone.

Improve your ratio!  What is the greater purpose behind what you have done today?

2 comments on “Purpose – beats Prozac
  1. Mark Shearer says:

    Hey Chris …

    Great to see you for breakfast … and good to have a read through of the above and below.

    You asked for feedback – and so here goes 😉

    1 – nice chronology, length, clarity, continuity and general feel
    2 – great to have the journey … and looking forward to hearing how it goes (ups and downs)
    3 – the red disco jacket looks like a winner – more pics would be awesome
    4 – grab yourself a flip video (or you can borrow ours) … and film some day to day stuff
    5 – its important to promote your blog – we’d be happy to do it on PD – but maybe speak to others such as the Londonist etc. The more promotion – the more people will read it … and the greater the interaction with readers

    In keeping with your blog – and for the benefit of your readers … huge thanks for all your help on Project Dirt so far … and looking forward to many days ahead

    Bon weekend


  2. Mark Shearer says:

    Ohhh … and importantly (sorry – i should have mentioned this below)

    I completely agree with your point in this blog … and that it’s a great example of how to encourage people to look at things differently – and in perspective

    £50,000 …. is an incredible amount of money – and what a fantastic cause.


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