Impact doesn't mean benefit

Productivity practices have a tendency to drive us inward — we ask questions like “Where am I going?”, “What do I want?”, or “What’s my next goal?” This mindset also drives us toward being the most efficient and effective person we can be.

This efficiency and effectiveness are important in today’s work world, and rightfully so, as our work is all about accomplishment and achievement. I think there’s a deeper driver here, too:

We as people seek achievement because we want to leave an impact. We want to build something great, leave a legacy, or make a lot of money. Often our jobs are the avenue we choose to seek this. As a result, personal productivity practices make a ton of sense.

Yet, in my opinion, if all we seek is achievement and accomplishment, our impact is much smaller than it could be otherwise. Our lives are much more fulfilling if we seek the benefit of others through the effectiveness we produce.

Have you ever given someone an unexpected gift and see the joy on their face? Or invested in someone as a mentor and watch them grow over time? How much satisfaction did that bring you?

For me, it’s the only way I truly feel alive.

If I’m seeking achievement for myself, I get a high when I achieve what I want, but it doesn’t last long. There’s always some other mountain to summit, some other goal to reach.

Yet if I’m actively seeking to benefit someone else with my efforts, I always walk away infinitely more fulfilled because my eyes weren’t solely on myself.

You might be asking, “Justin, how can I use productivity skills for someone else’s benefit?” Great question.

I believe there’s an intersection of where you desire to go and where people you can benefit are. This could be in your career field, family, community, or simply a topic area of interest. Seek to find that area, and work to be a benefit to others. Be efficient; be effective. Ultimately, be of benefit.

So this week, instead of thinking solely of your next achievement, I challenge you to ask yourself, "How can I benefit someone else?"


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That’s all for this week!

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