A recent story on the NPR series called "This I Believe" featured an essay by a seven year old (Tarak McClain) of Austin, Texas. Tarak shortened his original list of 100 beliefs into a radio-ready list of 30, which he read on the air.
Aside from the remarkable fact that this very young man was thoughtful and wise enough to compose this list, (and poised enough to do an exemplary job of recording his interview), the notable feature of his story relates to his acting in ways that are consistent with his beliefs. Tarak has a commendable list of service projects to his credit already. This made me think about my recent posts on life balance, and one of the papers given at the life balance symposium I attended. This particular paper was about life balance as acting in accordance with personal values.
Values and beliefs are closely related. But few of us always stop to think (except on Sundays if we are church going Christians, or on other days if we practice other faiths) about how our actions align with what we profess to believe. For example, I believe in sustainability and conserving energy so that future generations will enjoy a high quality of life. But when I think about the actual things I am doing that are in alignment with this belief, I am embarrassed that the list is shorter than I would like. Perhaps this is why the phrase, "talk is cheap", was coined.
Tarak and I share some significant beliefs, and I suspect, that given the way 7 year old young men come to form their beliefs, that his parents have similar sentiments about community, peace, service to others, living in harmony and other values. But in the end, when it comes to making our communities and world better places, when actions and beliefs are aligned, we create the world we imagine. As Gandhi said "We must be the change we hope to see in the world."
I invite you to share your beliefs about living life well on this post, and to comment on the actions that reflect those beliefs.
DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.
Great Links About What, How, Why, Where and How Often People Do Things
- Calculate your Life Expectancy
- O*Net - A terrific resource to get information about work related occupations
- Wisdom—A must see project of shared experience
- Brian R Little- About Personal Projects
- Authentic Happiness - Take the Work-Life Questionnaire
- wdydwdyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
- Calculate your weekly Time Use
- Bureau of Labor Statistics -American Time Use Survey
- ► February (7)
Interesting Books about Doing and Not Doing
- Bateson, Mary Catherine—Composing a Life
- Bruner, Jerome—Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures On Mind and Culture
- Christiansen, Charles & Townsend, Elizabeth—Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living
- Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly— Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Diener, Ed, & Biswas-Diener, Robert—Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
- Edgell, Stephen—The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work
- Gini, Al—The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon—Whereever You Go, There You Are
- Little, Brian; Salmela-Aro, Katerina; and Phillips, Susan D. — Personal Projects Analysis: Goals, Actions and Human Flourishing
- Matuska, K & Christiansen, C. — Life Balance -Multidisciplinary Theories and Research
- McAdams, Dan P. —The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self
- Robinson, John & Godbey, Geoffrey — Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
- Seligman, Martin—Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
- Tolle, Eckhart—The Power of Now