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The unexpected rewards of working towards a higher purpose

July 31, 2012 Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had a special moment in London last week that I wanted to share. Five years ago when I started writing We First, I had no idea what I was doing or if it would amount to anything. When it came to writing the Epilogue, I went up to a friend’s house and locked myself away in a room for a day to write. I started by reading the speeches of JFK and MLK Jr., to get my mind in the right place and ended up quoting MLK Jr. in the Epilogue.

Last week I was fortunate to attend the Global Impact Institute in London and MLK Jr’s daughter, Bernice, was there. She read the Epilogue and wrote the message (above) next to it. It’s one of those moments when things come full circle and make all the effort worthwhile.

I share this to encourage anyone else who’s working on something meaningful for a higher purpose to keep going.

If you’re working towards defining and acting on your company’s purpose and core values, keep going.

If you’re working on finding a way to make your products, services and environmental impact more sustainable, keep going.

If you’re working towards scaling the contribution your company makes towards a cause that’s in alignment with it’s core values, keep going.

If you’re assuming greater responsibility in your personal life for the impact on the planet and the lives of those around you, keep going.

A movement is underway in which consumers, citizens, corporations, non-profits and government agencies are slowly forming purposeful partnerships that are our best chance to meet the social challenges we face with the necessary force. This has arisen not because it’s merely possible thanks to digital and social media, but because we have no choice. So let’s draw energy from each other’s company and commit to making a small difference a million times over using whatever platform we can, whether it’s a simple conversation, social media, a book, a website or your company’s behavior. It’s the only way we can realistically improve lives for ourselves and others for the long term. I guarantee that when you do, moments will come along that will make the effort worthwhile.

Have you ever had such a moment when good work you were trying to do suddenly made sense? Would you be willing to share it?

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2 responses to “The unexpected rewards of working towards a higher purpose”

  1. Eric Brody says:

    Simon, 

    Really appreciate and relate to this post…as we have the wonderful opportunity each day through our brand work to energize and mobilize internal teams around common meaning and purpose. 

    Though on a smaller scale relative to what you’re writing about above, we were presenting to the Board of a healthcare system last week whose brand we will soon be relaunching. To hear them integrate into their upfront conversations the responsibilities they’ve now taken on and embraced (based on the tagline we’ll soon be formalizing) is really special. 

    We’ve created a movement in this organization, based on the precepts you mention above. And it’s really rewarding!

    Best,
    Eric Brody
    @ericbrody:disqus 

  2. That’s so cool, Eric, and a function of fantastic perseverance.
    Huge congrats and let’s both keep going.
    Simon

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