Each of us has something different to offer: a skill or talent that is tied to a calling we must heed. Discovering our life’s task and mastering the related skills is key to realizing our true value and what we can bring to the lives of others. This acceptance of the uniqueness in ourselves and others is at the heart of diversity.
Following is an excerpt from an Art of Manliness article The First Key to Mastery: Finding Your Life’s Task based on Robert Greene’s book Mastery. It is part of a series in which the process of developing mastery is explored. According to Greene, discovering and accepting your own uniqueness is key to mastering the skills core to your chosen vocation. Just as crucial is your ability to accept diversity.
“Feeling that we are called to accomplish something is the most positive way for us to supply this sense of purpose and direction. It is a religious-like quest for each of us. This quest should not be seen as selfish or antisocial. It is in fact connected to something much larger than our individual lives. Our evolution as a species has depended on the creation of a tremendous diversity of skills and ways of thinking. We thrive by the collective activity of people supplying their individual talents. Without such diversity, a culture dies.
Your uniqueness at birth is a marker of this necessary diversity. To the degree you cultivate and express it you are fulfilling a vital role. Our times might emphasize equality, which we then mistake for the need for everyone to be the same, but what we really mean by this is the equal chance for people to express their differences, to let a thousand flowers bloom. Your vocation is more than the work that you do. It is intimately connected to the deepest part of your being and is a manifestation of the intense diversity in nature and within human culture. In this sense, you must see your vocation as eminently poetic and inspiring.
Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”
Good luck on your diversity journey.
When not reading, working or attending conferences and networking events, I am supporting my favorite charities: Teen Living Programs where I am a mentor, committee member and Executive Board member and YWCA Chicago where I am an Associate Board Member. I am passionate about causes related to supporting youth, women and families. Particularly in the areas of education, employment, violence intervention, social services and housing. With a keen intuition on helping people tap into their brilliance, I am passionate about helping people grow. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about my charities or this blog.