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 jen.wholetherapy@gmail.com, or visit the clinic website at www.wholetherapyottawa.com