The Tree of Joy & Wonder

I walked through a shopping mall and was struck by this beautiful ‘tree’. I put the words tree in quotes because it wasn’t a real tree, it had been installed for the holidays. Instead of covering it with traditional Christmas colors, the designer utilized pink lights with white accents. It was stunning and very imaginative. I actually stood there and watched people stop in their tracks to check out this unusual tree.

I hoped that the designer had spent a little time sitting on a nearby bench so they could experience people’s reactions to their creation. Most people pointed up, slowed down, smiled then walked on. Children squealed with delight and almost everyone had a moment where the expression on their face changed to one of joy and wonder. How amazing to be able to see that something you created had such an impact on others.

All too often we do the work and are never fortunate enough to see how what we have done brings joy or improves the lives of others. We know it does, we assume it does, yet if we never see it we never truly see all our hard work paying off. Something changes when we have no doubt that people will appreciate what we have done and that it has a positive impact on lives, our motivation and satisfaction levels go way up. We are able to find meaning in all the boring parts of work; those parts suddenly seem connected to a bigger, grander scheme of things.

The most blessed people I know understand and have experienced the meaning behind their work. They know and have confirmation that how they invest their precious time impacts others for good. As a result they are motivated, inspired and therefore inspire others. Remind someone today of how what they do matters and makes a difference in your world.

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