believe in what you do

Yesterday, I went on a three-hour tour of Texas Children's Hospital, to learn more about their work and what they do, in preparation for my upcoming Miracle Marathon.  To say that I was overwhelmed by everything I saw would be an understatement, and I can't wait to share everything I learned, as well as what the Miracle Marathon is all about and how you can help (which I'll definitely do next week).  But for now, I wanted to share something that I've been thinking about.

One of the most awesome parts of doing what I do is being around people who really believe in their work.  In the last 6 years, I've had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life:  CDC doctors working in the most rural and desperate parts of Africa, directors who work at shelters for abused mothers here at home, communications professionals tirelessly working to advance the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, even corporate executives whose mission it is to help women and girls become more confident.  Yesterday, I met doctors and business people and social workers who are passionate about the work of the hospital.  It's inspiring.  But even more, it's also educational.

I became a lawyer because I loved the intellectual stimulation -- the experience of exercising that particular analytical part of brain. There are aspects of this that I truly miss.  But what I don't miss is practicing law in an industry that I had no passion around.  I had a great career in the energy industry, but the simple fact is that unlike many of my colleagues, I didn't love the energy industry.  So during those times that I had hellacious days, I couldn't convince myself that least at least the work that I was doing was for the greater good.

When I look at the folks I've meet for the past six years (up to and including yesterday), I hold no illusions that their jobs don't contain really tough days -- and in some cases, days that are likely difficult beyond my imagination.  But I so admire the fact that for the most part, it appears that they all believe in the work they do.  They ultimately believe that what they do has real purpose.

I think that maybe that's ultimately a big key to having a life you love:  having the conviction that what you do, whether to earn a living or otherwise, serves.  I think, when you do, you can probably endure most rough days.  And know that you and what you do can be for the greater good.

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."

Robin Williams
1951 - 2014