As many of you know, life threw me a curveball this spring in the form of a surgical accident that has slowed me down, to say the least. I am currently recovering in the hospital as I write this – my third stay since the accident occurred in March.
Although I have been doing my best to keep my chin up and to remember this is a temporary setback, occasionally I have to admit that I – like any human – have been known to entertain self defeating thoughts for a moment or two. Last night, my thoughts turned into a small pity party of regret, thinking about the impact I wanted to be making this spring, at a time when “service to the greater good” is so needed.
Like a “call and response” game from the internet, I took a break from the ugly talk track in my brain in order to mindlessly browse social media on my iPhone. While scrolling through my Twitter feed, I caught sight of this little gem, which instantly put a huge smile on my face:
— Orchid Project (@OrchidProject) May 5, 2017
If you have peeked through the Bijou portfolio, you might recall that Orchid Project was a client of ours for several years. When I saw this tweet last night, not only was I celebrating the continuing efforts of a client whose work I still wholeheartedly support, but I was touched by what I saw in the foreground of the photo, on the table: several printouts of the infographics that Bijou created for Orchid Project in the summer of 2012!
I’m not writing this post just to toot my own horn – I’m writing it to share a universal message: when you invest yourself into purpose-driven work, you have no idea the amount of impact you will make. In the nearly five years since we created them, Orchid Project has used these infographics in incredibly impactful ways: they were used in a speech to the House of Lords which influenced a major policy shift and financial investment by the British government, they were used in a presentation at SXSW, they were shared on social media by influencers such as UNICEF, and apparently they are still being used today to educate and inspire change.
Even in the times when we cannot predict or measure our impact, we need to show up for our passions and do our best work anyway. We also need to put to bed the thoughts that “we’re not doing enough” – if we can take an honest assessment of ourselves and say we keep showing up in the best way we can, then it’s simply not for us to judge whether we are “enough” – our best is our best, and that’s always enough.
Few of us will make celebrity headlines, but all of us are contributing a crucial thread in the human tapestry. The point isn’t to make a perfect splash right out of the gate, the point is to be pushing up against our own edges, wherever they lie –always to be refining our approach and expanding our capacity for positive action.