Drafting Blueprints, Part 6

Posted By on Feb 15, 2010 in Blueprints, The Life I Live | 31 comments


Time for another “Blueprints” post. If you haven’t been following along, here is a basic overview and links to the first 5 points.

My “Blueprint” series is essentially a mechanism for me to start thinking through my life goals. And as hard humiliating as it is to admit some of the things I want to achieve in life, I am trying to be painfully honest because (for some crazy reason) I feel like I need to put them “out there.”

Part 1 – I want to get married.

Part 2 – I want to get fit.

Part 3 – I want to get my hands dirty.

Part 4 - I want to cultivate deep and authentic friendships.

Part 5 – I want to have kids.

I want to master the art of living.

Master the art of living?

Yep, it’s a pretty lofty goal and candidly one I could not begin to define until I read the following quote by James Michener.

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

Michener’s quote radically changed my career aspirations, my life aspirations. I no longer want to work so I can afford to play. (Let’s be honest we all work entirely too much to simply “work for the weekend.”) Instead I want to blur the lines between work and play until there is no distinction. I want to go about my business pursuing one epic story after another. I want to master the art of living.

How do you define mastering life? Does the thought of blurring the lines between work and play excite you like it excites me?

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

    That's a great quote and I don't think I could even come close to topping it. As for blurring the lines…it's what I crave every single day. You have no idea what I would give to be a writer for a living and blur the line between what I love to do and what I have to do.
    My recent post Help Haiti Live February 27

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

    That's a great quote and I don't think I could even come close to topping it. As for blurring the lines…it's what I crave every single day. You have no idea what I would give to be a writer for a living and blur the line between what I love to do and what I have to do.
    My recent post Help Haiti Live February 27

  • http://bahava.wordpress.com Katy

    I LOVE that quote and it totally excites me at the thought of mastering life in a way that really does blur the lines. :)
    My recent post Hear No Evil

  • Ali

    I would love to be able to blur the lines between work and place, but in my current situation that is simply not possible. My job affords me great health insurance and a way to pay the bills, but it does not use my talents and gifts. The only problem is that I don't really know what my life's calling is. But I have decided I need to make a radical change–and so I am hoping to go back to school to get my MBA. This will be my third advanced degree, and I am hoping this one will help me advance and get closer to that elusive goal!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      I think the first thing you have to define is what you LOVE doing which is different than what you love having done.

      Marcus Buckingham in The Truth About You has a system of helping us define this. He encourages people to create list for a week. I love it and I loathe it lists. I've never had the patience to do it BUT I think it is key in defining what your play is before you can blur the lines.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/stephanieinlex stephanieinlex

        Doing some blog catch-up reading, saw Ali's comment, and feel like I'm in a similar place right now (just without 2 advanced degrees!) :-) Lindsey, is this Buckingham title the book or the video? Sounds like a great tool. (And, bonus, I like lists.)

        Anyhow, what a great quote! Will write it on a post-it or on the fridge dry erase board.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Cindy_Graves Cindy_Graves

    It does excite me! I love my job so most of the time it actually feels like play (combined with the fact my co-workers are masters of play). I also love most of my "job" as a wife & mother – especially the cooking part, not so much cleaning and laundry. And since I love writing, my play-time sometimes looks like to work to my family. I just have to convince them that I'm actually enjoying myself, that it's what jazzes me and makes me come alive!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      I love the connections and social media part of my job. When I am in this realm, my work and my play truly collide. It is so much more energizing that some other parts of my job.

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com Kayla

    That's really awesome and encouraging…yet intimidating and terrifying! I absolutely hate what I do to the point where I cry the night before I go into work. Clearly, there's something wrong with that, but I don't see many other options at this point. I know what I want to do, yet seem to have absolutely no ideas on how to make it happen.

    Maybe I should like…pray about it ;) because come to think of it, I haven't in a while.
    My recent post Oversleeping.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Prayer is always a good place to start. I also would encourage you to write it down and put it out there. I've been amazed at how writing these Blueprint posts have helped me feel closer to what I want.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/davisfamily05 Justin and Trisha

    Great post Lindsey…Trisha and I were just talking about this very thing the other day. Somehow, I think when we get this figured out, we are less tired, less obligated, less grouchy, less of us and more of who God longs for us to be! I didn't really answer your questions…but I hope you'll forgive me :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      You are forgiven ;)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kevindeshazo kevindeshazo

    I love this. Absolutely love it. I'm sitting in the exact same place right now. Which probably explains why A Million Miles in a Thousand Years rocked my world (and also why The Hole in Our Gospel is doing the same). I don't want to wake up at 7a and wish it was 5p. I want to WANT to go to work. I want to be passionate about it. Tell people about it. I want to instill that into my son.

    So (and only about 5 people know this) I am in the early stages of planning to open a coffee shop. I enjoy coffee, love people, love hearing their stories and love the community. What better way to encompass all of that than a coffee shop?

    Here's to mastering the art of living.

    • http://www.kaylafinley.com Kayla

      Aw! That sounds fun. One of my "what I'd love to do"s is open up a tea shop in my town. We have a few coffee shops of course but nothing for tea. I'd have tea tastings and mother-daughter tea parties and pastries and…….stuff. hehe. Good for you for following your heart :)
      My recent post Oversleeping.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Kevin,

      That is so cool. I love coffee shops. That sounds like such wonderful work/play. Do you know these folks? http://drinkcoffeedogood.com/ We enjoyed their place before Catalyst. Thought it might be a good connection!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/kevindeshazo kevindeshazo

        Funny, they are who I got my idea from. I heard about them (from people tweeting at Catalyst) and looked up their info. I haven't ever talked to them, but loved the idea of connecting with a farm in Africa (or South America, or wherever) and providing jobs/money/help to those people, in addition to what a coffee shop can do in my community. It's a global and local win/win…changing the world for good. I need to connect with them at some point.

  • http://www.jasonyarborough.com Jason Yarborough

    My wife and I were having a very similar conversation last night. About pursuing a dream when all it is is a dream. It definitely takes a certain dedication and hard work to get to the point where your work is your play and your play is your work.
    Great post!

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  • http://kabarnes.wordpress.com Karen Barnes

    Lindsey – That is a great post! Thank you for sharing it and the inspiring quote! This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I think it is the ultimate job goal to be able to do something we are passionate about and can jump in to wholeheartedly everyday.
    A great, thought-provoking post!

  • http://www.ordinarilyextraordinary.com/ Amy Nabors

    Great quote and wonderful post Lindsey! I want to be that way too. I want my work to be my play and vice versa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    My recent post Project Life: February 9 – 15

  • Jacklyn

    I love that quote. I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I'm not sure how to start the process but I'm excited. Thanks for the reminder.
    My recent post Lessons in love

  • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

    Yes. It's a little what Kevin Carrol talked about in his opening talk at blissdom. I love that idea.

    In fact, i was just talking to my husband about it last night. hmm.

    we have to figure out a way to make work play, right? i'd love any insight b/c that is where we are stuck..

    [btw - when i read your posts or get a comment from you i just wish the two of us had HAD MORE TIME. ugh. guess i gotta come back to nville. OR you are coming here. =)]

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Yes, Kevin Caroll actually used this quote in his presentation. I thought he was one of the best parts of Blissdom.

      I think taking the time to define what you love is the hardest part of this. In an earlier comment I recommended doing Marcus Buckingham's "I love it" and "I loath it" lists. Supposedly it will help you define what you really are hardwired to love – not just what you are good at and get praised for.

      Btw- I feel the EXACT SAME WAY. But there is time for that. I am confident that our paths will cross again. And I can't wait.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Yes, Kevin Caroll actually used this quote in his presentation. I thought he was one of the best parts of Blissdom.

      I think taking the time to define what you love is the hardest part of this. In an earlier comment I recommended doing Marcus Buckingham's "I love it" and "I loath it" lists. Supposedly it will help you define what you really are hardwired to love – not just what you are good at and get praised for.

      Btw- I feel the EXACT SAME WAY. But there is time for that. I am confident that our paths will cross again. And I can't wait.

  • http://jenwomble.com Jennifer Womble

    What a great quote and a great life inspiration as well! This very idea, to LIVE fully and to LIVE well as been on my mind this past week too. One of my current goals right now is to be fully aware of life as it’s happening. Sometimes I think it is so easy just to go through the motions of the day and fail to see all the great, amazing, and beautiful things that are happening around us all the time!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      I do that too. The snow this winter has been a great reminder to slow down and see the beauty of life instead of the hassles.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jeremybarr Jeremy Barr

    Wow, that's an amazing quote! I guess I have a new goal now for life. Those lines are DEFINITELY not blurred for me right now. Thanks for sharing it, and it's awesome that you're keeping up this series, even though it's not always easy. I enjoy reading what you write.
    My recent post God’s Finest Work

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Thanks Jeremy!

  • http://heart-and-home.net Heart and Home

    Have you heard this quote?

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~ Howard Thurman

    Another Blissdom nugget… one that has shaken my world the past ten days. I'm intrigued with the notion of turning work into play without negating responsibility. What about the parts of life we don't necessarily love, but MUST accomplish? Is the key learning to love LIVING so much that we love every part of it–even the bits we wouldn't usually relish?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

      Love that quote!

      "Is the key learning to love LIVING so much that we love every part of it–even the bits we wouldn't usually relish?" Hmmmmmm…..

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    Great quote, Lindsey. I really appreciate your openness and willingness to take on these great life questions. From my experience, I think there are seven things that can help us get closer to that wonderful goal. They are…
    1. Personality: Be who you are
    2. Passion: Do what you love
    3. Purpose. Do something amazing to change the world
    4. Path: Set forth on your journey
    5. People: Bring along mentors and find people you can help along the way.
    6. Problems: Find ways to climb the mountains that confront you
    7. Place: Find a place that sets you free where God can shine through you.

    As a side note, Erwin McManus wrote a wonderful book, entitled "Wide Awake," that has really helped me master the art of dreaming with both eyes open. It's a great book to help you create a life worth living.

  • http://www.freedigitalphotoprints.com Kelly

    Hmmm well, I guess I have not thought about the whole blurring of the lines concept. But people always talk about wanting the work that we do to be something that we love, and that it isn't disconnected, and so I guess that yes, I agree in thinking that that is maybe the idea goal! Good luck with the blueprint goals. Do you have a boyfriend already, or you just mean, you would like to get married period?
    My recent post Top 5 Posing and Directing Photography Tips

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