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Last weekend my husband and I went to a dinner party. A few of the guests present had just returned from last week's TED conference in California. They were still excited about it and shared some of the most memorable talks from the most inspiring presentations happening anywhere. Another guest, who happened to be pregnant with her second child, commented that it's challenging to hear about all these impressive and accomplished people. She has to remind herself that the most inspiring thing to her is raising a healthy family.

I appreciated her comment a lot. It can be easy to lose sight of the importance of our hard work when we get caught up in the excitement around the work of someone else. No parent could argue that raising kids isn't both difficult and spectacular at times, yet it's so obviously critical that it's often times overlooked. This it seems to be especially when it involves taking care of people, whether they're our own children or those of others, or the elderly or anyone who is incapacitated or suffering. It is challenging work, and critical to those who receive it.

What I'd like to add to this thought is a reminder that no one can be outdone by anyone else's accomplishments. Just because one person may have done a good job at something and maybe they get some attention from it, that does not diminish anyone else's ability to accomplish any task they set out to do. We can all be accomplished for our own work, especially when we allow ourselves to be of service to others. No one has a crystal ball, and there's no point in worrying about what time will bring, because the only thing we can be certain of is change. If we can attend to the job at hand and give it our best effort, sometimes we find our own unique purpose despite ourselves. Many times sticking to the present challenge helps us find our own treasure.

Getting immediate attention for it, or featured in the next TED conference, can't be the only goal.

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