In South America, plan de vida is similar to the term vocation.

Vocation is the intense feeling of suitability for your career or occupation.

It is the reason why you do what you do.

In Japan, it is also called ikigai. 

I was thinking about these terms this morning as I read Shawn Askinosie’s book Meaningful Work and his reference to Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It got me thinking more about what I am currently doing, what I’ve done and what I am planning to do.

What truly drives you?

This conversation in my head, now written in this blog, starts with an excerpt from Tuesdays With Morrie.

Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

“You’ll notice,” he added, grinning, “there’s nothing in there about a salary.”

“Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t belonging for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.”

Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom

Helping others drives me.

To actually propel someone forward, to leave them slightly better than you found them, and to make a small dent in the universe requires showing up daily with generous intent.

This will look different depending on who you are.

Making a dent in the universe doesn’t mean saving the world from the next pandemic. It doesn’t involve curing cancer. And it doesn’t necessarily mean holding the door open for the person behind you.

Helping others is really about an attitude and approach towards life.

It shifts the focus from me to you. 

Metaphorically, it requires stepping out of one’s shoes and swapping with your neighbor. It also doesn’t mean you must keep your neighbor’s shoes. It is more about understanding where the other person is coming from.

And this involves listening deeply. And not waiting to speak when the other person is speaking.

It is about being heard and being seen.

Parents who are actively involved with their kids know this. When you have a kid, you stop looking at the ground in front of you. You shift your eyes to the horizon. You pick your kid up higher above your shoulders so they too can see the view ahead.

Plan de vida, ikigai and vocation.

Whatever you choose to do, whether that be a project, career, or even lifestyle, do so with intent and tact. Think about how you will end or transition the project before you even start it.

That’s all for today.

Thanks for reading,

Cory.