Really Caring About Something is Hard
The single most important thing when it comes to performance and fulfillment is care. If you care about what you are doing you’ll be present for it. You’ll put your all into it. You’ll get the most out of it.
And yet really caring about something is hard. Some two years of researching and reporting for our forthcoming book made this abundantly clear. To really care about something can be a gift or a curse, and sometimes both. As the poet David Whyte says, “If you care about something it will break your heart.”
Caring is a form of radical vulnerability. It requires exposing all of yourself to some endeavor—be it a relationship, cause, or craft—knowing that eventually the tides will change. If you’re a parent your kids move out. If you’re an athlete your body ages. If you’re an entrepreneur the markets shift. If your an activist the cause you’re fighting for doesn’t come perfectly to fruition. Such is how things go.
It is so important to situate caring in self-awareness, community, reflection, and contemplation. The raw energy of caring deeply needs a space within which to exist. Otherwise it can easily run amok. Really caring about something can take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.