To do what you love isn’t just about following your passion or fulfilling your need to be successful, make money and live the good life.
Your success and wealth makes it possible for you to help others and do good too.
Have you ever wondered why so many celebrities generously donate to charities? Angelina Jolie’s charitable work is well-known along with Bono, Beyonce, George Clooney and the Beckham’s just to name a few.
Why is this?
Cynics will argue that celebrities lend their names to good causes to get more publicity and be perceived as kind, generous souls.
But recent research by Sean Kelly of the charity Sparks suggests that many celebrities support their favorite charities because they feel they are in a fortunate position to be able to help others. They really do want to make a difference and give people opportunities.
It’s not just famous people who want to help others either.
You Can Change The World
Ask any entrepreneur what the highlight of their journey to success has been and you’ll notice how many of them say that doing what they love enabled them to “give back” and change the world in a positive way.
Quite often their proudest achievements are not the money they make or the many awards and accolades they get but the people they help and the lives they change.
Take this heart-warming story about US millionaire Harry Rosen for example.
Although Rosen grew up in a tough area of New York, he gained a degree in hotel administration and later amassed a small fortune in the hotel business in Orlando.
Since education had played such an important role in his life, Rosen decided to adopt a poor, drug-ridden, crime-infested neighborhood of Orlando called Tangelo Park.
Over two decades Rosen donated $10 million of his own money to provide free day-care for the parents in this town. As the children got older, Rosen set up a scholarship program to pay their tuition fees so that local students could attend state colleges in Florida.
During this time the high school graduation rate in Tangelo Park has jumped from 25% to nearly 100%, property values have increased and the crime rate has halved.
Rosen probably didn’t start out thinking how he could change the world, he just followed his heart and pursued his goals. But as his business grew, his consciousness expanded. He looked around and saw that there was a group of people whom he could help with his wealth.
Besides the money he invested in the Tangelo Park Program, Rosen gave hope back to the people in this town and helped raise their aspirations and expectation of what is possible.
These newly qualified students will one day return home and serve the neighborhood with their talent and expertise, thereby continuing the cycle of good.
This is the influence that you can have on others when you do what you love.
Following your passion is not only a powerful way to magnetize wealth to you but it also allows ordinary people to be a force for good and really change the world.
Science Proves We Like To Help Others
You might be surprised to discover that this deep-seated need to help others is in all of us, not just the rich and famous.
Even if it’s not apparent to you right now.
So if you’re reading this and telling yourself you just want to build a business that sustains you and your family, and that you don’t have time to think about other people or change the world, that’s ok.
But science tells us differently.
Although the story of evolution teaches us that humans are driven by selfish instincts and the survival of the fittest, more and more studies are suggesting that human beings are hardwired to help, cooperate and share with each other.
I recently read a fascinating article in the New York Times about a series of tests by Michael Tomasello involving chimpanzees and toddlers.
Tomasello found that at a very early age kids begin to help others and share food and information in ways that adult chimps hardly ever do, not even with their own offspring.
He says that human beings are “born ready to cooperate”.
In another study in the article, neuro-scientists found that the act of helping another person triggers activity in the pleasure and reward center of our brains – the nucleus accumbens.
This tiny part of the brain is responsible for many of the most intense emotions we experience like laughter, reward, pleasure and motivation.
The researchers found that serving others can produce the same sort of pleasure as gratifying a personal desire.
In other words, we like helping people because it gives us pleasure and makes us feel good.
Do What You Love And Inspire Others
Whatever you think about this research, it’s a wonderful way to understand why you need to do what you love and take your gifts out into the world to help and inspire others.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the thrill that comes from doing something you are passionate about. It could be writing, coaching, graphic design or spending time with your kids.
You become absorbed by that activity. You’re not just getting the job done – you are putting 200% effort into something you love and that makes you feel alive and energized.
The real reward doesn’t just come from payment, it comes from the positive impact on other people – the joy you see on a child’s face, your client’s delight over the website you’ve designed or the advice you’ve give someone that saves their troubled business or marriage.
As an entrepreneur you can use your talents and resources to build and expand your business but you shouldn’t underestimate the influence that you can have on your small corner of the world.
You may think that going after your passion is just for you but you may not realize how many people are watching you, reading your words and following your story.
Someone out there may be thinking about taking a big step in their life, changing jobs, starting a new business or doing what you’ve done.
You could be the spark that spurs them into action.
Change The World With One Person
When you do what you love will you make a huge impact on the world?
Or maybe not.
We can’t all be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but we can certainly inspire others by doing what we love. It might sound clichéd, but even if you only touch one person’s life that is one person better off than before you came along.
Whether you’re an inspiration to the next generation, a mentor facilitating another person’s success or the lifeline for someone who is less fortunate than you – doing what you love is the first step to feeling more fulfilled, making a difference and living an extraordinary life.
Don’t underestimate the ripple effect your influence can have in making the world a better and more positive place.
Every small act you do can add up to a series of actions and before you know it, you are making a significant contribution that you couldn’t possibly have imagined when you first started your business.
Do you believe it’s possible to do what you love and change the world? Are you doing what you love? Please share your thoughts below.