By age 26, Martin Luther King Jr. started his life calling with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This occurred very soon after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat. MLK Jr.’s purpose practically came “looking for him”. But what about the rest of us? How do we find our calling? Finding your purpose(s) in life — your dreams — lies at the heart of Character (seehttp://www.velegol.org/center.htm). We will be discussing Character next week in our CIC MOOC. Here is a brief overview:
– Life Ring. Numerous people, including Victor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning”, have described how to “discover” our purpose, rather than inventing it. The fact that you are interested enough to watch out for your purpose, however, is an important start. I was in my early 30’s before I realized that I should even be looking! Over the past few years, I have been writing and revising my “Life Ring”, which summarizes my life and which provides me a visual way of watching my life. Maybe you’re in your teens, or maybe in your 80s! In any case, keep your eyes open, and start your “Life Ring”.
– experiments. This is a key point. In my book CENTER, I discuss trying “1% experiments”. A year is 8760 hours, and 1% = about 88 hours. You want to run an experiment of about this length, so that it is long enough to be meaningful and so that you can run a genuine experiment, but short enough so that you don’t waste too long. Having a life full of experiments can lead to a life of great purpose! Gandhi’s autobiography is called, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”. He continuously ran experiments with life.
– Scratch List. Our dreams or purposes frequently arise from those areas of life that have given us the most poignant moments, especially hard moments. These areas “scratch” into our life, much like a stick scratches into a rock. This is the origin of the word “Character”: symbols that have been scratched into rock. Journal about some of the hard moments, and start some of your first experiments — even simple ones — in those areas where you have been scratched.
[See my blogs athttp://www.velegol.org/blog/blog/]