"A sure sign of a soul-based workplace is excitement, enthusiasm, real passion; not manufactured passion, but real involvement. And there's very little fear."
--- David Whyte
In the classic Christmas feature, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is advised by Lucy that the only way he can eliminate all of his many fears is to get involved in something. Charlie Brown decided then to be the director of the Christmas play and organize all of the roles using all of the characters in this traditional cartoon. Lucy's solution for Charlie Brown is exactly what he needed and is also a good lesson for all of us.
Getting involved in something bigger than ourselves cures many ailments. It does three things at once: it allows us to focus our energies on a worthy endeavor and not on ourselves, it provides an outlet for our creative juices, and it produces something of value for a worthy cause. All of these are great reasons for our involvement in something other than our business or ourselves, but another side benefit is that it offers health benefits as well.
"When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world."
--- Elon Musk
Involvement in outside activities adds spark to one's life. It is an opportunity to play a part in something larger than what most of us ever dreamed of. For example, jumping in on weekends to help Habitat for Humanity build houses for the poor can really stretch you as you do some physical labor, building blisters and creating sore muscles. But in the end, the outcome has a tendency to stretch your heart as well, as you witness the unveiling of a home to someone in need.
"So we had life, death, illness, everything - every emotional involvement we had, we experienced. And I think that made what we had to do on stage, stronger. We got very much involved in what we were doing."
--- Tom Bosley
Involvement doesn't have to just be a specific charity. It can be simply getting involved in a project you gave to some of your team members. If it's a large project you trusted some team members with, you can offer to be given an assignment and then immerse yourself in that assignment providing the best that you can. Avoid the temptation of running the project and only do what is assigned to you. This will spark renewed energy and let you see your business from a different angle.
"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed."
--- Martina Navratilova
One of the good things about getting involved in something outside of your work is that although you are giving your all, you are not giving up on your first love. You may be committed to your business, but you get involved in outside projects to give back to the community and to protect your sanity. Involvement is giving, but it is giving with a heart for the recipient without fully leaving your first love.
Involvement doesn't have to just be during the Christmas holidays. It can be year-round and a good way to begin is to identify a year-long project you would like to be involved in. Consider your various options and dabble in a few until you find the one you will like. Once you decide where to get involved, go ahead and make a New Year's resolution to stay with it through 2018.
"Charity is just writing checks and not being engaged. Philanthropy, to me, is being engaged, not only with your resources but getting people and yourself really involved and doing things that haven't been done before."
--- Eli Broad