Finding Meaning

3/10/11

Earlier this week I attended a BUILD event in Oakland. BUILD’s mission is to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success. They asked if I would participate and be a judge. Teams of students pitched their ideas and us judges asked questions, gave feedback, shared advice, etc. I had fun mingling with the students and sharing war stories before and after the formal event. I also did a video interview for the school’s news station. It was an enjoyable experience and I hope to continue to be involved with the program.

As I reflected on my drive home over the Bay Bridge, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was living a life with enough meaning. Am I helping where I can? Am I actively looking for these types of opportunities to share my talents and knowledge?

I’m convinced that we are happiest when we are giving to others — giving our time, our knowledge, our resources, our talents, our energy, our vision. It’s fulfilling. Unfortunately, it’s much easier said than done. It doesn’t come easy. We’ll have a great experience like this but the feeling will often fade fast.

The BUILD program seems to be a sweet spot for me. It’s at the cross-hairs of what I love. I love youth and believe in the power of education. I believe in opportunity, especially for minorities or those who come from under-privileged homes. I love entrepreneurship and startups. If even just one person went away inspired, motivated, or uplifted by my thoughts or experiences… then my work was a success. That’s fulfilling.

It’s so much easier to serve when it’s something you’re truly passionate about.

We all have skills. We all have passions. We all have areas of expertise. Most of the time we won’t have to organize a thing. If we actually look, we’ll find a program or organization that’s already plugged in. The key is finding organizations that do what we love. That way it won’t be hard to find the time — we all find time to do what we love.

What are you doing to give back? Where’s the meaning in your life? Think about it.

Note: This post is as much for me as anyone else. I need to step up my game.

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