What Do You Care About?

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by Svetlana Saitsky

What-Do-You-Care-AboutI believe two questions define much of our happiness:

What do I really care about?

What can I do to make the world a better place?

I have spent the past decade studying happiness and inspiration, trying to figure out what truly brings us joy- both in the workplace and beyond- and one thing became crystal clear:

Giving back to the community (whether locally or beyond) and caring about what you do are the fastest ways to live the most fulfilling life.

The happiest people I know love what they do, and do what they love. But not everyone has the luxury of having their dream job at this moment. So what then, should those people do?


Make the choice to find some way to give back in your current position.

Find a way to get involved in a charity that your company sponsors, and if it does not do such a thing, find a charity that you feel connected to and speak with your manager or HR lead about what you can do to start a relationship.

Whether you work for a company that has giving back ingrained in it’s DNA or not, you can start making a higher contribution today. And remember that big things, often have small beginnings. A great example of a company whose core mission is to give back is TOMS. By working with more than 75 shoe giving partners and donating a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair of TOMS sold, TOMS has continued to grow and expand since 2006, and is currently working to restore vision to those in need as well.

Recently, I discovered a company called LSTN, which handcrafts headphones from reclaimed wood, and for every pair sold, helps restore hearing to a person in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. It was no surprise to me that one of the founders of LSTN, Joe Huff (whose business card says Director of Positivity), met with TOMS early on while forming his company and was inspired to do something similar - to find a way to give back. That’s the thing about inspiration - it spreads and grows organically while making our world a better place. Whether you are inspired to start you own company, or simply support one already in existence, do what you can to find some way to give back today and every day.

I asked one of the founders of LSTN, Bridget Hilton, "What inspires you about giving back?" and here is what she said:

The giving back portion is the most important part of LSTN. We started the company so we could give back through the power of music. We just got back from a trip to Peru with Starkey Hearing Foundation where we fit 10,000 people. To give someone the gift of hearing is absolutely incredible - you can physically see their life change in front of you when their eyes light up and they can hear. Some of the people we work with haven't ever heard music, or nature, or someone saying "I love you". Nothing is more inspiring to us at LSTN than giving that gift to others and to know that we're making a difference.


Today, of all days

On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, I am reminded of how we came together as a nation, amidst tragedy, to support one another, our country, our morals, our friends and family, and I believe that the more we get involved in supporting one another everyday, the sweeter, more fulfilling our professional and personal lives will be.


About Svetlana

SvetaSvetlana Saitsky is a Creative Iconoclast who strives to inspire through her work as a photographer and writer. With her entrepreneurial spirit, business school education, corporate experience and artistic savvy, Svetlana combines left-brain intellect with right-brain creativity and resides in San Francisco, CA while working on her first book on Inspiration. A modern day Renaissance woman, Svetlana believes in exploring a variety of passions daily and when she is not taking photographs or writing, you might find her salsa dancing, singing, eating avocados and hanging out in coffee shops all over town. To explore Svetlana's work, please visit her here!

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