BRIGHT SPOTS FRIDAY: If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.


In the Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg describes what he calls “the third place,” a place that is neither work nor home where people can spend time together. A third place is a neutral ground where people from different walks of life in the community can meet and get to know one another, having in common perhaps only their desire to frequent this particular place.

I use this concept a lot when meeting new people for intros. I’ve come to realize over the past 7+ years that while the idea of getting fit brings people through our door, their genuine pursuit is finding some new friends, or building new relationships. The idea of being a part of a thriving community is a powerful draw. It’s the reason our mission at Nevermore is not to build fitness. It is to build human connections THROUGH fitness.

My Bright Spot this week is that this wonderful network of people at Nevermore donated over $1,000 in conjunction with our Memorial Day WOD to support our new scholarship initiative! What an incredible way to jumpstart a project designed to impact more people in our community who would otherwise not have access to our program!

I am beyond proud that while a portion of our membership has found great success in their professional lives, they are ALWAYS at the ready to give back and help impact our city and its people. In line with our mission, our vibrant social network is providing an essential tool to improving community wellbeing, allowing us to accomplish what we can’t on our own. And so I say THANK YOU!

Achieving a goal like this is so much easier when we are using our network to effect change by engaging others. And when we focus on others we learn more about ourselves. You may have heard the Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

Rather than simply making an anonymous donation to a worthy cause, the combination of a tight-knit group of altruistic coaches and members along with the goal of helping on a deeply personal level is what sets us apart from other businesses or other gyms. CrossFit gyms all over make it a point to talk about COMMUNITY. It warms my heart that we know how to put ACTION behind the words. There is a healthy bit of materialism within our group. The cool thing I’ve noticed is that the folks who fall into this category here are also looking for the sense of purpose that their materially successful lives may lack. They know that they can’t live on their own. They know that the purpose of their lives is to be in community, to love and to give. And in the end, everyone wins, as research suggests that recruiting advocates and helping them build on their social connections could have benefits for the donors, too… turning generous behavior into positive feelings.

In his book Better Together, Robert Putnam writes, “If you live in a neighborhood where people care about each other, you can recover from anything,”

Small victories like launching our scholarship fund are simply bite-sized versions of our larger vision. I’m excited to be on this train with such a phenomenal band of humans!

What is your Bright Spot this week?