Why do we do the things we do?

What moves us? Do we work for money, for safety or because it is what we are supposed to do? Why do we help someone? Is it because we expect something in return or because we owe them?

Is there still people who do things just for the pleasure of doing them or to have a purpose in life, or because they believe passionately in an ideal or simply for the pleasure of helping someone?

This weekend I proved they still exist!

Imagine this…

First an old lady who’s smiling face doesn’t hide her more than 70 years of age, tending a hotel souvenirs store (one of those stores that sell everything at a way higher price that anywhere else). She turns to say hi to a young woman who is searching for a simple bag to transport a couple of bottles that she and her husband just received as a gift. The store sells a few artisanal bags that will do the job. There are no other clients in the stores, it is empty. And yet, instead of jumping like a tiger that haunts his pray, the old woman reaches into her desk and pulls out a couple of paper bags (the kind she uses to pack the stuff she sells) and not only does she gladly gives these to the woman, she carefully wraps the bottles in paper as if she had sold them. Always with a smile that only someone with a clean conscience can smile.

Now imagine a waitress in a restaurant at 1:30 am who, when asked, does not reply a simple “we are out” but instead goes to get her own hand bag and out of it she pulls a bottle of anti-bacterial gel of hers that she gladly shares with her patrons.

Imagine now a group of college students who, with no extra grades and no economic compensation, enroll to help with the logistics of a local conference, donating their time and work as if they were actually getting paid.

And finally imagine a group of Young professionals who have a dream, not of getting rich fast and becoming famous, but a dream to help their city business grow. And armed only with that dream, they set out to create a marketing and advertising conference in a city that for years has had no interest in such a thing. And yet they do not do it because there is a business opportunity for the lack of competitors, or because they will fill up their buckets with money, actually they know they won’t. They do it because they know it is what needs to be done to promote their community and market.

None of these four cases earned more money with what they did. None will have, immediately at least, new clients or more revenue for doing what they did. But they all have the certainty of having done what was right, of having followed their own voice; and they have the satisfaction of doing and giving more, because they know that is the secret to becoming remarkable.

What a great example you’ve given me. Thanks Oaxaca. Thanks Fusionados 2009. Thanks for the free lessons. Thanks.

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The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.