One week in and I’m already feeling so inspired by my focus on others, it’s amazing.
A few things happen when you stop thinking so much about yourself and think about others more:
First, you find your thoughts become more inspired and clear. You find yourself being led towards ideas that could not possibly come from your own intellect.
Second, these thoughts lead to a desire to take action. You feel a longing to see what magic these thoughts can produce.
Third, fear and doubt start to creep in. It’s natural. Adversarial forces don’t want you to do this, that would be good, and evil is opposed to good. You just need to ignore them and move forward because you know you are doing good. Take courage in the fact that you are facing these fearful feelings. Those are the very signs you are on to something worthwhile.
Finally, you will find that a sense of peace and joy enters your heart as you work towards these goals, regardless of the outcome. This is because you have not only turned your thoughts to a higher purpose, but you have acted on them, and that action brought power. Embrace this power, enjoy these feelings, and let them push you onward towards more good.
What I’ve Learned So Far
To this point I have engaged in 35 actions towards contacting and trying to discover ways to serve my 100. I have been able to complete 1 act of service, and I have identified 7 services I am now trying to help specific people with. On top of all that, I have personally gained new friends and connections I see lasting a long time because of my efforts.
Interestingly, I’ve discovered that some people just aren’t open to receiving acts of service, so I’ve scratched them from my list, at least temporarily, and replaced them with new names.
I’ve also found that while I created my list with the best of intentions, I’ve had impressions reminding me that I will have even greater success and better experiences if I include intentional prayer in this process going forward. I missed that part in the beginning. I had thought and prayed about the project, but not the specific people in my 100. I’ve realized that while I may be perceptive and in tune with others, I will never be so more than my Heavenly Father. I’ve been reminded to let Him guide this effort, and it cannot fail.
What I Plan to Do Differently
I have made some minor adjustments to how I am going about my project. For starters, I am not limiting what I count as an Action. I have a goal to have at least 5 meaningful actions towards each of my 100. I’ve found that those can happen across a variety of mediums. I’ve made some by phone, by email, by text, by LinkedIn message, and by a variety of other ways. All have been effective, so I don’t know that I could limit myself to one or two forms of communication alone.
I’ve also learned that I need to be very intentional with my communications. By that I mean I need to have a thought out approach. I’ve tried stating directly that I wanted to try helping them, but that hasn’t necessarily worked. I am still trying to find the right approach, but the most successful ones seem to be coming from simply starting a conversation and asking good, thoughtful questions. I’ll have to get back to you all on this area.
One other thing that has become very clear to me is that I cannot take any assumptions into my interactions. When I have, I’ve found myself limiting my thoughts. For example, I may have a person in my 100 who is a business specific contact. This could be someone with whom I’ve only ever know business like interactions. That may not be what they need though.
Likewise, personal contacts may have business needs you were never aware of. If I approach with my bias and limited paradigm, I may very well be missing out on some key opportunities for service. It’s been fun finding that business and personal can cross, and even more fun being surprised by what people I thought I knew, really needed. Don’t limit yourself.
Goals for this week
While I’m very please with my start, I have to admit that 35 actions is only a fraction of the 500 I need to do in order to complete the project to the scope I’ve set out to accomplish. There will obviously be some adaptation, but I have a lot of work to do and really need to pick up my efforts.
I accidentally left my notebook home one day that holds all my notes and tracking details. That day was hard because although I did put efforts towards many of the people I could recall were in my 100, I knew I was missing opportunities to serve others. 100 is a lot of people, and many of my 100 were names I myself was surprised to have come up with. I’m happy to say that I haven’t made that mistake since. I keep my notebook with me and this helps me to constantly keep this worthwhile project always on my mind.
I have the goal to pass the 100 Actions mark within the next week. That will take some focused effort, but it is a cause I believe in and I am committed to making it happen.
If you’ve decided to follow along and try the 100 Project for yourself, I hope you’re finding some amazing experiences. If you want to start, pick up a pen and some paper, say a little prayer, and simply get started.
Stay tuned for next weeks update.
Struggled with taking action towards goals like this in the past? Read my article about Failing Towards Success at HuffPost to gain perspective.