What Is Your Sentence?
What will people say of you when you’re no longer on this terrestrial plane? What would you like your life to represent now? How will your journey be painted and explained to those that live far longer after you? What is your sentence?
I was reading Oprah’s book The Wisdom of Sundays when I came upon the interview with Daniel Pink. In it he referenced a story where a question was posed to president Kennedy regarding a phrase that represented him. He was asked, “what’s your sentence?”. To which the person asking continued to explain that the great people of the world had a single sentence to describe their major accomplishments in life. Lincoln’s being: “He preserved the Union and freed the slaves.” And FDR’s being: “He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war.” This got me to thinking, what would my sentence be?
Without comparing myself to these prominent figures of U.S. history, I savored the question for a bit and wondered, what am I doing right this moment that will contribute to the change this world needs? Ok, without going so deep into existentialism, what am I doing on the daily that may contribute a word to this phrase?
Can our lives truly be summed up in just a few words? Or, can we have multiple sentences, hence, purposes in our lives? What does this represent in everybody else’s lives?
As Pink explained, he found it useful in his work as a way of “… orienting our lives to our purpose.” But then I thought, too often we get bogged down by over-thinking about our lives BIG—only—purpose. I know I’ve stepped on the feet of depression trying to make sense of my life and figuring out my ‘why’. It keeps us at a stand-still without being able to move forward on that next step to take.
So, I wonder now, how can this simple question impulse us to check ourselves, check our lives on the daily, to continue on a path that will serve us and others, and lead to a life of joy?
One to think about.
What would your sentence be? Or, what are a few words you know now for sure would be included in your sentence? Please share in the comments below.
With much love and gratitude,