This week was my 11th time giving blood which I’ve now been doing for the past two to three years and just like blogging, which I’ve been doing for just over a year, they share many similarities. For Example…
They Require Preparation
When it comes to giving blood you must prepare by fully hydrating yourself and filling up on iron rich foods (coconut water and steak!). When it comes to blogging you must saturate your mind with new information, which is why I aim to read at least one or two books per week. Failure to prepare will either leave you on the floor with your legs in the air on the edge of passing out or in front of a blank page with writer’s block, both are equally distressing.
“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius
You Can’t See The Impact
Those who give blood and/or blog may never meet the people whose lives they have the possibility of touching. I give blood because I like the thought that a couple of hours of my time may save a life in the same way that my writing may make someone think a little differently or give them the motivation and confidence to do something they were once fearful of. Weaning ourselves off our obsession with visible measurable results can lead to bigger emotional impacts which can’t be recorded on an excel spreadsheet.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
You Need Time To Recover
Whilst giving blood depletes me biologically, blogging drains me mentally. Attempting to put my thoughts and observations in to legible sentences as well as battling my inner critic can be extremely exhausting but having the recovery time between blogs is enough to fire me back up and realign my values for why I started and over time the voices gets quieter and I develop my grit.
“You were sick, but now you’re well again, and there’s work to do.” ― Kurt Vonnegut,
You Benefit Too – And That’s Ok
Although I would like to think that my blogging and giving blood is completely altruistic, I know that I get a lot from doing them; after all, we all need to appeal to our own self-interest in some way before we are willing to start anything. I give blood because it makes me feel good in that volunteering kinda way but I also know that giving blood can remove oxidative iron from the body which can reduce the likely hood of cardiovascular diseases. I write my blog because it’s fun, it improves my writing and yes, I get a little kick out of knowing that people are reading.
“There are two great forces of human nature: self interest, and caring for others, people are most successful when they are driven by a “hybrid engine’ of the two.” – Bill Gates
If we all focused a little more of our energy on making small differences in others peoples lives whilst at the same time helping ourselves then we’d all be better off.
“Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them.” – Adam Grant