Your Roles In Life

Charles Handy is an Irish writer and good friend who looks at himself as a “social philosopher.” He has written wonderful things on leadership and organizations.  My wife Margie and I had dinner with him and his wife Elizabeth recently. They do something very interesting—they help people decide who they are and where they are going in life, and they put it into photographs. One of the processes was interesting and I would love you all to think about it:  What three roles do you have in life? One could be as a father or mother, one could be a salesperson, or a golfer, or whatever—I don’t know. And if you were going to design a picture, where would you place those roles in the room? What would be in the front of the picture, what would be in the middle, and what would be in the back? How you arrange these roles in the picture is really how you are rank-ordering them in your life. Then stop and really take a look at your present life and what you are spending your time on. Some people might put their role as a parent up front, and yet they are really not spending the time they should on that. One man had his role as an executive way in the back of his photo, and he had being a writer and a poet in the front. After he looked at it, he ended up quitting his job and concentrating on what he said he really loved to do—write poetry and also be with his family. So it’s interesting. What three roles do you have and where would you want to put them in a picture? I’m going to think about mine and I would love for you to think about your own.

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