Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's Your Question?

I recently finished reading Drive by Daniel Pink. At the end of the book Pink includes a series of exercises and readings that can help you identify what motivates you, gives you a sense of purpose, etc. (Yes, I know you’re supposed to have three examples before an etc. If you want more, go read the book. You should anyway.) =) One of the most striking exercises is the “What’s Your Sentence?” exercise, one that caught the imagination of many of his readers.

In a nutshell, what you do is: “Take your life, take what you want to do and distill it into a single sentence.”

Daniel Pink’s sentence is, “He wrote books that helped people see their world a little more clearly and live their lives a little more fully.”

I’m still thinking about my sentence but I want it to go something like, “Through his passions he helped people grow as social individuals.”

The passions in my sentence are varied: dance, positive psychology (my newest passion), and teaching are probably the top three. Even those have subcategories, however. What do I love about dance? It’s fun and gets the body moving, engages the brain and leads easily to a flow state. But moreso, it’s about connection with yourself and another human being and it’s about communicating clearly with that other person and playing/engaging with them. Every dance is a story and a conversation and your willingness to play makes it more fun and more engaging. What I love about positive psych is even more in-depth.

Through dance and applied positive psychology I can teach these things and more. I can help people become better leaders. I can help them become better social individuals. I define a social individual as someone connected to themselves and others in a positive way. There are few people who prize individuality as much as I do, but we can all see the flaws inherent in a society in which individualism is defined better as narcissism combined with an overbearing sense of entitlement. We can only survive as individuals so much as that individuality improves our interactions with those around us. Human beings have both individual needs and social needs, both of which must be met to achieve a sense of well-being.

I’m excited about moving toward a future in which my sentence defines me more and more every day.

So there’s only one thing left to do, and that’s ask:

What’s your sentence?

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