I used to think, If I can’t do something big for the world, then what’s the point? I’m not destined for big, grand gestures.
I’m not going to solve third world hunger. I won’t be the one to come up with a cure for cancer.
Making a huge impact on the world, I used to think, is not for me.
I was in my early twenties then. I knew everything in my early twenties.
Despite my convictions that I wasn’t destined for greatness, I continued with school post-secondary, rationalizing that if I couldn’t make an impact, I could at least make money (why I chose massage therapy over business if that was my goal, I’ll never understand… but I digress).
I finished college, got my diploma, got a job, and moved out. For a year, I massaged people in a clinic downtown. My focus was on my newfound independence, however, and not my clients. Don’t get me wrong, I was paying attention and learning and relaxing people, but it was really still all about me.
And then, something happened.
In October, a new client came in named Sandra; she was a government worker in her mid-twenties, in generally poor shape, and in constant pain from ceaseless computer work. She needed help. She was desperate.
Something about her misery ignited a spark of inspiration in me: I could help this woman! I could help her feel better. I knew it. I was still a new RMT, but I had gathered enough experience by this point that I was convinced I understood her problem.
Over the next six weeks, I saw Sandra twice a week. I slowly and surely released her muscles and got at the root of her pain. I educated her about posture and strengthening, and I felt her trust in me grow as she felt better and better under my care.
By Christmas of that year, Sandra was pain-free. She wrote me a Christmas card thanking me for changing her life for the better, and left me $100 as a gift.
I was floored.
I sat there looking at the gift, incredulous; $100 is a lot of money, and I was happy to have received it, but what struck me the most was the card. I had changed her life. By massaging her. I had made her life better. And that, I realized, was a far greater reward than making money.
Fast forward seven years. I’m an entrepreneur with my own clinic. I have eight practitioners working alongside me in various modalities, making people’s bodies feel better every day. And every day, the rewards I get from seeing happy people in less pain far, far outweigh the money I get for doing it.
Maybe we don’t make big, grand gestures, solve third world hunger or cure cancer. But every day my team makes a difference in one, two, ten or more people’s pain. We make them happier, healthier people.
And that, I realize, is more than enough for me.
Jen Wright is a Registered Massage Therapist and the owner of Whole Therapy, a unique and collaborative multi-disciplinary clinic in the west end of Ottawa. To contact Jen, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the clinic website at www.wholetherapyottawa.com