Where the Art of Living BeginsMay 11, 2022
The art of living is the central concern of most ancient philosophical and spiritual traditions.
And yet, we rarely discuss how to live a good life in our educational and occupational institutions.
Why is that?
I honestly don’t know. Yet, these questions have been my life’s most consistent preoccupations.
Yes, I know. I’m a weirdo.
I think the reason ancient peoples were so keenly interested in figuring out what it means to be human, what it means to be happy, and how to be more of both were the daily reminders about the shortness of life.
In the ancient world, it was likely you would have a direct and personal experience with famine, plague, natural disaster, war, or enslavement (often in combination).
Existential threats do tend to sharpen one’s focus.
And while you and I are certainly aware that these threats are still present in the world, it is unlikely that we will ever directly experience any of them.
And so, many experience what Thoreau called “lives of quiet desperation.” We live a life filled with distraction and empty pursuit.
Because we have not been taught or figured out that the meaning of life is not in chasing fame and fortune but in pursuing meaning and mission.
Where do you find your meaning and mission? It begins with defining the difference only you can make.
Again the ancient traditions are very clear about what that is. The art of living begins with identifying and living into your soul’s purpose.
Where can you begin to dial in your reason for being?
I encourage you to begin by answering these 3 questions.
- Who are you? What are your core values and guiding principles? What vision of a better world are you working toward?
- What are you good at? What are your innate and inherent talents? What about your hard and soft skills?
- Where do you belong? What’s your scene? Where are the people who share your values a need your talents to enhance their lives?
How do you define “the good life?” What is your life’s purpose? Where and when are you letting your life speak?
Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.
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