Your Inner Light
I read a wonderful article here that shed light (no pun intended) on the two set of virtues that exist: resume virtues and eulogy virtues — pretty self-explanatory.
Society trains us to value ourselves based off of academic achievements which later translates to career related achievements. Throughout adolescence, we’re evaluated based off of the way we exhibit the academic knowledge we’ve gained, but not necessarily the characteristics we develop that contributes to becoming a “good” person.
“Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.”
Eulogy virtues in this article is described as the adjectives used at your funeral — essentially asking those that knew you, what was your inner light? Were you selfless? Were you forgiving? Were you that person that lit up the room when you entered it?
It is so easy to lose yourself and the person you want to be within the translation of what society defines as success. It’s difficult to keep in mind who you want to be when everyone is so focused on where you work, what your position is, and how much your salary is.
David Brooks believes that letting your inner light shine is a process that we have to continuously strive towards. Here is a summary of his “Moral Bucket List.”
- Humility Shift & Self Defeat: be aware of your weaknesses and focus on how you can improve them.
- Dependency Leap: find people who will unconditionally love you, support you, and encourage you to become a better person and who you want to become.
- Energizing Love: find a love that truly takes you away from your selfishness.
- The Call within the Call: pursue a career filled with meaningfulness.
- The Conscience Leap: strip away the resume — “be true to yourself.”
The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be…at moments of rare joy, career ambitions pause, the ego rests, the stumbler looks out at a picnic or dinner or a valley and is overwhelmed by a feeling of limitless gratitude, and an acceptance of the fact that life has treated her much better than she deserves.
Then, may our inner light shine and motivate the ones around us to find that light as well.