Friday, September 18, 2009

Activity With Purpose

A Story About Activity Without Purpose

John Henry Fabre, the great French naturalist, conducted a most unusual experiment with some Processionary Caterpillars. Processionary Caterpillars blindly follow the one in front of them. That's why they are called "processionary"--they travel in a procession. Fabre filled a flower pot close to the rim with dirt. He then carefully arranged some Processionary Caterpillars in a circle around the rim of the flower pot, so that the lead caterpillar actually touched the last one, making a complete circle. In the center of the flower pot he put pine needles, which is food for the Processionary Caterpillar.

The caterpillars started walking around the circular flower pot. Around and around they went, hour after hour, day after day, night after night. They obtained no nourishment, no rest. For seven full days and seven full nights they went around the flower pot. Finally, they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion.   Which begs the question for us all...

What Purpose Is Your Activity Serving?

 Just as it is useful to understand the purpose that our activity serves, understanding what is our core Purpose is vital in living a life of meaning. I think that Earl Nightingale said it best when he announced that the greatest secret in the world, and the secret to success in life, was to spend our life working toward a worthwhile purpose. Really knowing what is important to us can help inform our sense of purpose in life. A worthwhile purpose can motivate and inspire, not just ourself, but also those around us.

Earl Nightingale lived in a completely different world than we live in now. And yet all these years later, his words are as simple yet powerful as ever. You be the judge.

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