People keep saying it: caring about what you do makes all the difference in the world. It makes a difference to you, but it also makes a huge difference to the people around you. Working with people who are motivated more to make a positive impact than to advance themselves is fun; some days anything feels possible.
Caring is risky, though. Some environments discourage caring by fiercely protecting the status quo. If we’re not willing to go along when colleagues want to try new things to make improvements, it will remain difficult for them to care very much about what we’re doing.
I have had the great benefit for most of my career to work with people who care a lot about what they do and who encourage me to care just as much. I see it now–that has been invaluable.