In every endeavor, be it a sports team, a project team or department at work, a club, or simply planning a vacation, there’s always a person who cares more than everyone else.

It’s simple math. Someone cares about the results, the goals, or the sustainability of the endeavor more than everyone else, just as someone also cares the least.

The hardest job in this situation is to be the person who cares the most because you’re set up for the most possible disappointment.

Someone, or several, in the group are going to let you down. They’re not going to complete their task. They’re not going to show up. They’re going to make excuses. They’re not going to communicate.

Some will undermine you because they don’t like the way you’re doing it. They’re going to complain that you’re too invested or taking it too seriously.

It’s also difficult to be the one who cares the most because you yearn for everyone involved to care as much, or more, than you do. You want everyone to get invested and prioritize it over everything else – the way you’re doing.

When you’re the one who cares the most, it takes the most time, stress, and mental toughness. It requires persistence and optimism to keep it together. You have to be determined and undeterred. You not only care the most, but you have the toughest job of anyone involved.

So… why do it?

There are many reasons. There’s nothing as exhilarating as getting people excited about something. Getting them to see the mission. There’s nothing like unifying a team, getting people to work toward a common goal, and getting everyone’s best.

I’ve led many passion projects, and it’s simply amazing when people accomplish things they didn’t know they could. It’s even more exciting when the relationships that form due to the common mission last well beyond the endeavor.

And when you’re the one who cares the most, your enthusiasm and excitement is usually contagious. When you’ve turned whatever it is into a cause, and people rally behind it, there’s nothing like it.

You want people to feel the passion and excitement you feel. That part is a great feeling, and you want others to share in the euphoria – especially when it goes well or you get it just right.

Plus, there’s the results of the work. Whether it’s for recreation or work, what you leave behind stays with you forever. And hopefully, it was meaningful enough to the others to stay with them, as well.

It’s hard to be the one who cares the most, but when you see the life-changing effect it can have on others, it suddenly all becomes worth it.