Buckminster Fuller’s Incredible Letter About Everyone’s Unique Purpose
Every single one of us has a unique gift and I find that until we step into that gift, we suffer. I’ve watched people awaken to their unique gift thousands of times. It is our natural self, well beyond a job description, and it is the one thing no one else can tell us to do. At Inspired Work, we orchestrate the circumstances for people to realize that gift. Our unique gift is as personalized as one’s DNA. Initially, that might sound far fetched. But consider the fact that for 300 years, the industrial revolution conditioned us to fit in.
In 1970, the great scientist and philosopher, Buckminster Fuller, received a note from a ten-year-old boy named Michael, who asked if he was a “doer” or a “thinker.” Bucky responded to the young man with a letter that captures the sense of what a unique gift is all about and he communicated it in such a straightforward manner, it is a end-of-week gift for my readers.
Thank you very much for your recent letter concerning “thinkers and doers.” The things to do are the things that need doing: that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.
Try making experiments of anything you conceive and are intensely interested in. Don’t be disappointed if something doesn’t work. That is what you want to know – the truth about everything – and then the truth about combinations of things. Some combinations have such logic and integrity that they can work coherently despite non-working elements embraced by their system.
Whenever you come to a word with which you are not familiar, find it in the dictionary and write a sentence which uses that new word. Words are tools – and once you have learned how to use a tool, you will never forget it. Just looking for the meaning of the word is not enough. If your vocabulary is comprehensive, you can comprehend both fine and large patterns of experience.
You have what is most important in life – initiative. Because of it, you wrote to me. I am answering to the best of my capability. You will find the world responding to your earnest initiative.
It is 47 years later and many of us are still waiting to find what we are going to do when we grow up. Years ago, defining and finding what we were born to do, transformed one’s relationship towards work. Today, that unique purpose is quickly becoming the way to make a living. Why? The work that has little meaning is slipping away and offering lower returns for the investment of our time. Work, for most of us, represents the single biggest relationship in our lives. Settling for anything less than what we are here to do, adversely impacts every other relationship in our lives. Do the work that matters to you. Find the work that is meaningful for you.
Orchestrate that life.
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