Sooner or later in life, and often several times, most of us will mutter the words: “What’s the point?”
Initially it’s “what’s the point of doing such and such?” But later in life, it often becomes “what is THE point?”
What drives you to ask the question is as varied as the answer you give. For me, it kinda snuck up on me – no big-bang, crisis-style crying-out-loud “WHAT’S THE BLOODY POINT?”, but rather a growing realisation that I was somehow missing the point. Whatever it was.
OK, I’ve always done my little bit to help others. We all do. Nothing huge: a raffle ticket here, a donation there, even a charity ball now and again. (Which is always a tad embarrassing with my two left feet on the dance floor!)
Like most, I’ve done enough to maintain my perception of myself as not a bad bloke, and I’m pretty sure that most others would agree, and those who don’t … well, we needn’t go there.
I always said that in a few years time I’d start really giving back. But, like losing a few pounds around the waistline or cleaning up the study, I’ve never really got around to it. “I’m sure I’ll get around to it one day” I would say to myself – just need to pay off the mortgage; get the kids through school; buy a yacht, and save for that apparently endless European driving holiday, belting around the Alps in a Ferrari. (I’m still going to do that one, but it’s another story.)
But, over the past several years, a few things have changed. I met my wife, I started attending a regular business lunch, and I moved house.
These three seemingly unrelated life-changing events, which I’ll share with you in more detail in future blogs, led to me forming friendships with some of the most inspirational people I have ever met, and some of the most vulnerable, too.
And then it struck me. The real point is: “WHY WAIT?” If it was possible to spend more time giving back now, would I? Would you? And would I do it now? Not tomorrow, sometime, never – but right now.
I have since asked this question of many of our friends and colleagues, and many of them are hard-nosed and highly successful people. not all namby-pamby wishy-washy tree hugging types at all. (This is not to offend all the namby-pamby wishy-washy tree hugging types I also am proud to call my friend, you understand.)
And to my surprise – or maybe it wasn’t – their answer has consistently been that, like me, if there was a way they could give back more, and feel they were really making a tangible, lasting difference, then they absolutely they would. They’d love to!
So, I set out to find a way.
A way which combines our desire to learn more, give more, do more and make a difference with our very real on-going need to earn a living and pay the bills.
And you know what? I came to the conclusion that it is possible! We just need to think differently, act differently, work differently and reward ourselves differently.
And that, Ladies and Gentleman, was my personal Tipping Point.
I really don’t know why it took me so long to realise all this stuff, but better late than never, I guess. Maybe there’s a time for everything. I know that this time – right now – is when I am going to start making a difference. I hope you think the time is right to be part of it, too.