Posted by | CDS


By Dana McConnell, CDS Executive Director

Mayor Knox White frequently shares with other cities across the U.S. about what transformed Greenville into the thriving city we enjoy today.  “Find your waterfall,” is his phrase.  Of course, not all cities have a river that runs through them, or a waterfall that was hidden for decades.  But this little phrase encourages cities to look within their boundaries to find that gem, or unique quality, which will inspire their community to become something great.

We all could apply that same inspiration for ourselves.  What unique quality do we have within us that drives us personally to want to excel?  Some might say it is their family, where they take pride in providing for their children or an aging parent.  Another might say it is their faith, where hard work and charity are part of living.  Still others find their passion by starting a company from scratch, or watching a project come to completion.  Whatever it may be, it is important to feed that motivator which drives us forward.

I found my “why” one morning in the fall of 2012.  As I was sitting in the lobby waiting for an interview, I enjoyed watching children as they waited for their therapy appointment.  The children played with stationary toys, read books, and ran up and down the lobby watching the train.  Some of them had a noticeable physical disability, but their energy was not dampered.  The thing I remembered was each child smiling and happy. Whether I got the position I was there to interview for or not, I knew that I wanted to be involved.  It just felt like a calling.

Fast forward four years and I am still involved in that same incredible place.  Just above that very lobby is my workspace where I type away to the sweet sounds of giggles, pitter patter of little feet, and cheers for accomplishing milestones.  It provides my “why” in working those extra hours when needed, and being that inspiration to just hang in there when I feel overwhelmed.  I have the privilege of witnessing these amazing children accomplishing so much more than what was expected with the odds stacked against them.  If they can do it, then I can keep going, too.

We all have something that gets us moving in the morning.  If you don’t feel inspired by what you do, I encourage you to see the big picture of your organization.  That report due tomorrow must be read by someone.  Find out who reads it and how they use it.  Look up your organization’s mission, vision, and goals.  Your specific job should tie directly back to your organization’s objectives.  Learning this will give you pride in knowing that you make a difference for your customers.

If you still aren’t convinced that you play a vital role in our community, upstate charities need committed volunteers and passionate leaders.  Consider the fact that many families are just two paychecks away from homelessness.  We are all just one poor decision away from incarceration.  We are also just one bad accident away from being permanently disabled.  Your support can help bring individuals, such as these, back into our thriving community.  Your role could be a mentor, a board member, or an advocate.  You could also be a manager who considers hiring from one of these underutilized workforce pools.

Motivation is the power that drives success.  Whether you find your “why” in your work, charity, home, or faith, I challenge you to excel.  Our world needs you.