By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Music and the Spoken Word: Designing a life
70b68f0c42715bf3af17be069d677ad79c6605823d3f1ad285423af9b8f25827
Perhaps the most beautiful and most satisfying life we could possibly design for ourselves is one in which our passion is the needs and the happiness of others. - photo by Deseret Connect
Editor's note: The Spoken Word is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

One of the great myths of life is that if you can just find the one thing youre passionate about and spend your time doing that, you will have a rich and fulfilling life. But it doesnt quite work that way, does it? Such an approach can cause us to be hesitant to try new things. Were not sure weve found our one true passion yet, so we wait to start living.

The truth is, according to researchers at Stanford University, most people dont have a singular motivator that drives all of their life decisions. Life isnt quite that simple, and it cant be reduced to a mathematical formula.

People arent a technology, the researchers continue, and our lives arent a problem to be solved. Life is a human experience, and we need a more human approach to thinking about it one that starts where we are with what we have but also allows us to grow (see "Design Your Way to a Happier Life," by Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, in the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 2016).

Over time, life changes and it changes us. This is as it should be, because we were not created to be static or stagnant. We were meant to grow and progress. We may come to Earth with certain God-given interests and talents, but those are merely a starting place. As our lives unfold, new interests may emerge and new talents can develop. We will have hits and misses, twists and turns, and more than a few surprises, but we can find a satisfying path. Life and work may seem like an endless grind, but as we seek to make something more of our lives, we will design something beautiful.

And somewhere along the way, we will discover something surprising about the rich and fulfilling life weve been seeking: It isnt necessarily found in the pursuit of our own interests and passions after all. Often, what makes a life beautiful and satisfying is a focus not on our needs but on others needs.

In fact, this may ultimately be the best answer to the question Whats your passion? Perhaps the most beautiful and most satisfying life we could possibly design for ourselves is one in which our passion is the needs and the happiness of others.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters