Last weekend I was in Kirkland, Washington, a small very affluent waterfront town just north of Seattle hosting its 2nd Annual TTTS Race for Hope (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome). The event was a massive success and although in the shadow of the passing off my dear friend, Steve Stone that same weekend‚Ä¶ I had a blast.
It seems that giving back was exactly what I needed. The experience made me acutely aware of the fact that focusing on our own pain, loss, or self pity can be a major obstacle to our success, fulfillment, and happiness. Last weekend was an exercise in shifting focus from self to others. By giving something back in the form of my time and expertise to those people who needed it I received a tremendous gift in return.
Whenever we focus to deeply on ourselves especially during times of challenge our own wow’s, insecurities, and self imposed short comings are magnified. If on the other hand we were to put those things into perspective and shift our focus outward we would soon see as I did this weekend that we’re in pretty darn good shape.
The gift I received was twofold:
First,¬†I was surrounded by survivors, children who if not by the grace of god and the miracle of modern medicine would not even be alive today. Little boys and girls who’s identical twin brothers and sisters may have sacrificed their lives for them. As well as the fortunate little ones who get to embrace their brother or sister every day. Just being around their energy was like a jolt of electricity into my system.¬†
Secondly,¬†I was reminded of the importance of both contribution and gratitude. In fact I was tremendously grateful for the opportunity to contribute and thrilled to have something worth contributing.
So when you start retreating back into yourself and begin thinking about how tough it is to get started, or keep going, and make it to the finish line‚Ä¶ instead start making it about someone else and not you.
Start giving back and contributing to others and I believe you will find life to be a whole heck of a lot easier and a lot more fun. You’ll also discover that it’s not really about the starting line or the finish line but rather what is in between.
PS.¬† Yeah, that’s me lying there at the finish line… I gave it my all.