It’s really hard to pinpoint one purpose, cause, or belief that inspires me to do what I do.
After thinking about this question, I realized that I have a different approach and reason for working on each project I am involved in, both professionally and personally. But, if I had to sum it up in one word, I would say the reason why I do what I do is “impact.” Professionally, as a researcher, this is particularly important to me because I spend most of my days on my computer analyzing what other people are doing. Weeks may pass by before I go out into the field and see what is happening in the “real world.” In order to give my work purpose and meaning, I have to believe that what I do helps those working daily in the trenches improve their practice or thinking about what they do.
I believe that we do the work we do, that we have the passions we have, because we hope we have had an impact on at least one other human being. This impact may not be large or change the entire world, but for that one person, what we did made a significant difference in his or her life. We may not see that impact in the next day, week, or year, but we have to believe that the something we said or did will change someone’s life or help them make a good rather than poor decision somewhere down the line. It may sound a little trite.
Of course, we all want to make our mark.
It doesn’t matter if you are a musician striving to write the perfect song, an engineering creating a structurally sound building for hundreds of people to traipse through each day, or a teacher wishing to bring all your students up to grade level, we all want to have an impact to bring meaning to our lives and others.
My morning source of inspiration was yogurt, orange juice, and hot tea for breakfast. A little energy, a little vitamin C, and a little comfort.
Author Profile: @taradonahue