When do feel successful and when do you feel fulfilled? A couple of quick
thoughts on how giving back helped me sustain the feeling.

Everybody loves changing out slides on the deck to make sure the
presentation is compelling and updating cells in a spreadsheet to make
forecasts more accurate… But the feeling of the partnership being inked
or the deal closing is hard to beat. The rush. The flood. The feeling of
accomplishment and success are at an 11 out of 10. But just as quickly as
it arrives it seems to fade. Then the grind of finding the next one sets
in. Then it’s back to a seemingly endless string of PowerPoint updates,
Excel updates, meeting reschedules, demo follow-ups. How do I get back to
where I was such a brief time ago? Or have I been looking at it all wrong?

I think it’s human to talk about the quest for sustained happiness and
fulfillment. There’s one concept that has always been curious to me about
how you can find it. According to the Happy Movie, which examines happiness
internationally and cross-culturally, a main source of happiness is giving
back. So I guess in a weird way that idea was deeply seeded, and the same
idea is driving me for ToyPrints.

Fast forward to the first demo I did for 30 kids, it felt like many I did.
But then we started talking about how to use 3D Printing. “You mean you can
print body parts?!” They were hooked. Also worth noting, these kids were
different. To say they were mistreated is an understatement. Society has
let them down. Their trust has been eroded.

We broke out into small groups for the kids to draw a blueprint (a…
ToyPrint, if you will) and that interaction was extremely special. However,
it seemed like the kids were going through the motions, and I selfishly
didn’t feel the “happiness” the happiness from giving back. Not until we
returned one week later with all of the finished 3D Printed toys. We were
able to hand deliver them to the kids – see their faces. And a couple of magical things happened.

1. These kids saw their actions come to life. That small act of creation
inspired them.
2. A promise was fulfilled. These kids haven’t seen the best side of
humanity, but it was one small bridge built to get them back to the shore
of human kindness.
3. Giving back made me happy – a feeling of happiness that last for days.
And I couldn’t stop talking about it either.

My closing ask to everyone looking for that feeling of happy amidst the
hustle and bustle of every day life. You might be looking at it in the
wrong way or in the wrong place. My ask is to give back. Get involved.
Whatever cause speaks to you. Get in the game