Year of Writing

A Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self (2022)
Lesson 4: Contribution

The topic of contribution is an interesting one. What exactly can you consider to be contribution? And what kind of contribution are we making to the world?

It is easy to underestimate what it is that we contribute. In my opinion, we oftentimes overlook how much impact we have in our lives. Being self-aware, I believe, greatly improves your ability to see the potential impact you may have on the people, situations and the world around you.

However, even with self-awareness it can be easy to misjudge what exactly it is we are contributing to that which is around us.

Lesson Format

This week’s lesson was a pretty short one. A brief introduction, outlining a few examples of what could be considered to be a contribution.  Then 7 individual questions/prompts to get the creative writing juices flowing.

I must say, I quite enjoy short weeks like this. You don’t have to read too much before you get started and yet… the questions and prompts can really get your brain working!

My Experience

Making my way through this chapter, I was really struck by what was running through my head. It’s quite intriguing to sift through the thoughts and beliefs you hold inside. Many of which you won’t become consciously aware of until you actually sit down to complete an exercise like this one.

Personally, I found myself initially comparing myself to others when thinking about my contributions. What do others contribute? How do my contributions compare? Are my contributions a positive or a negative thing? Should I be contributing more?

There are so many people who give to charitable causes each day. They donate money, help out at homeless shelters, foster children, look after elderly relatives etc.

However, I generally don’t have a lot of that kind of activity in my life. And so an initial thought that ran through my mind was that maybe I am not contributing enough. That perhaps I needed to review this area of my life and focus more attention on it.

However, then I decided to re-frame my thoughts around this and focus on what can be considered a contribution. After all, charity is not the only kind of contribution in the world that creates a positive impact.

And so I started writing…

 

The Positive Contributions List

  • I support my friends and family when they need me to (and I have the mental/physical/emotional capacity to help!)
  • My writing helps people solve problems/understand things differently
  • The positive mindset I promote in life gives people hope and encouragement
  • I believe the best in people – which is something I share freely and can make others feel good about themselves
  • My random acts of kindness put smiles on people’s faces
  • I help people make their dreams come true – and provide supportive examples of the many possibilities in life by re-telling experiences I have lived whilst building my own life too
  • …. etc.

 

Reviewing my list after writing it down made it very clear, that the contributions I freely offer in life are less to do with physical/financial contributions and much more related to giving people quality time and sharing my character.

I realised that my mental and moral qualities are what greatly appear to influence my contributions to this world.

Interestingly, my time and character are also the things I try to focus on continually optimising based on my present circumstances. Making sure that I find a way to successfully adapt myself to any given situation – and can help others do the same (or avoid my mistakes) in the process!

It’s funny, because I think that during this exercise I really started noticing the value of the saying “Fill your cup before filling that of others”. Since I realised that the more I fill my own cup with useful experiences, values, ideas and resources, the more I have to offer others in return.

By enhancing the level of knowledge, joy, optimism and resources I have to contribute with them through my daily interactions.

I’ll be honest, it’s not where I thought this chapter would lead me – but hey – that’s life, right?

Onwards, upwards and to the next exercise we flow. See you in the next chapter! 😀

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