I’d like to write a “note to self” of sorts, a letter for those community builders who are faced with a lot of choices about where to use their energy and who find that they have little energy to make those choices.

It’s not always about being the dependable one. 

Sometimes it is. It’s nice to be dependable. It’s rare, even. You like to be rare. But sometimes your gut is telling you not to do the thing you said you’d do because it simply does not serve you at this time.

It’s not always about beating the competition. 

In fact, it never is. It is not your job to tear down anyone or anything, to root out the mistakes of others and expose them. You may think that people like when you do that, and then you’ll realize that the only reason the negativity resonates with them is because it feeds on the worse half of their nature. Instead, feed your better half. Feed it cookies and milk. Then go on to show the competition that good begets more good.

It’s not always about being respected more than liked. 

Oftentimes it is actually better to be liked than respected. All of us at our core want nothing more than to be loved. We are yearning for it in everything we do. Try to think of someone for whom this is not the case. The exercise will enlighten you. We want love: uninhibited, unfettered, unquestioning. Why not honor that in yourself today?

It’s not always about doing the work. 

It’s actually about opening up all the windows and doors and bathing the walls of your room with fresh air, not just working away because Gary Vaynerchuk says that’s what works for him. That is where growth happens and we need you to grow.

It’s not always about showing up. 

Just because you’ll fill one more seat does not mean that your presence is necessary. What is necessary is that you do the thing that makes you feel well tomorrow because – dammit – we need you to show up for the work that makes you joyful. We need that joy in our lives too.

You don’t have to show up. No one needs you as much as you need yourself.

Now: may you make your own decisions about how to use your energy unfettered by others’ expectations, so you can feel empowered to build something that serves people at their core.

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