Dig down … why do you remember this and
why does it speaks to your soul? Eulogy or résumé virtue?
Juxtaposition of experiences leading to a common conclusion.
Experience #1 goes back to a challenge I have offered to audiences. The question, “Are you building a resumé or are you building a life?” I first used it to encourage students to think about what they were doing; where they focused energy. Was it on grade obsession or content comprehension and relevance? What was their purpose in doing what they were doing? Small choices, repeated over and over, will create a larger life. Were they happy with their compounding small choices?
Experience #2 reinforced the above. In his new book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, David Brooks makes a distinction between “résumé virtues and eulogy virtues.” The first usually is a by-product of hyper-individualism per Brooks. It focuses on ego, status, title, dollars, and self, to the detriment of the greater good. Eulogy virtues reference those community-minded accomplishments and energies; our legacy. They tend to speak to our vocation, Brooks writes. When we follow our vocation, we “listen to our heart.”
Experience #3 occurred when I attended the Nelson Mandela International Day Jax event this past week. One of the speakers, Khalil Osiris, reminded the audience that we don’t need empowerment. We already have the power. What we need to do is ask how we are using that power. Going back to experiences 1 and 2: Are we building a résumé or a life? Are we listening to our souls or being distracted by shiny objects/people/rhetoric?
At the same event, Tukwini Mandela remembered how her grandfather maintained forward movement for something bigger than himself. If you want to make progress, she remembered him saying, you cannot follow the status quo. You have to stretch. Ask questions. Do one good thing each day for your community. Or in other words, eulogy virtues.
Your challenge for the coming week. Identify what you consider to be your most meaningful career accomplishment. (You could do it with a broader “life” accomplishment.) This would be something that spoke to your soul. Take time with this. Don’t be fooled into going with your first answer. Once you remember the achievement, write it down. Under that, identify the who, when, where, what, who, and (most importantly?) the why of this. In short, dig down on why you remember this and why it speaks to your soul. Eulogy or résumé virtue? Transformational or Transactional? Focused on tasks or the collective genius of the community?
This exercise can help you have, as Brooks phrases it, a “possibility conversation” with yourself.
Video Recommendation for the Week.
Do we treat life as a cold calculating journey? Hear David Brooks take on the importance of eulogy résumé.
My latest book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,
has been released! You can purchase it (print or e-book) on Amazon.
More information (including seven free podcast episodes to highlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (May 2019) adopted it for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®