Posted November 7, 2013
Vic: This is so exciting, Winston! Our first DungBeetle.org post.
Winston: Nearly as thrilling as my post on the Obelisk of Thutmose III!
Vic: I think I missed that.
Winston: Wrote it about 3,500 years ago, actually.
Vic: Wait, you’re over 3,500 years old??? You’re a dung beetle. They don’t live more than a few years.
Winston: You saw The Mummy, didn’t you? They bound me up, shoved me into a stone sarcophagus, put an ancient curse on me… aaachhhh!!!
Vic: No they didn’t!
Winston: OK, they didn’t. Fact of the matter is… I’m a metaphor. Back then, the ancient Egyptians were transfixed at how I’d roll my dung ball through any terrain or weather, in a perfectly straight line. It was my purpose in life, you see.
Vic: Reminds me of Sisyphus, who rolled the rock up a mountain every day.
Winston: In fact, one of my Latin names is Sisyphus. The Egyptians were so impressed with my persistence and purpose, that they made me their Scarab god Khepri – representing transformation and rebirth!
Vic: Which is what this blog is all about: using purpose to change your life.
Winston: Splendid…provided that that purpose is self-transcending!
Vic: By which you mean…?
Winston: Something bigger than yourself. Your modern society no longer has a Pharaoh giving you a purpose. You need to choose your own! Unfortunately, most people in this society either focus on self-enhancing purposes, like fame, power, or money…or they have no purpose at all!
Vic: So running a marathon?
Vic: Wait, running a marathon may be good for you!
Winston: It may be, but the point is that it’s for you — not something bigger than yourself.
Vic: How about running a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research?
Vic: Creating a business to get rich?
Vic: Creating a for-profit micro-lending business to empower women entrepreneurs?
Vic: Cleaning an elementary school because it pays?
Vic: Cleaning an elementary school to give the children a better learning environment?
Vic: Because I’m thinking about something bigger than myself.
Vic: This sounds a lot like existentialist philosophy.
Winston: It does indeed. But there’s now a science to the philosophy.
Vic: And that’s what this blog is about.
Winston: Here’s an example of the science: In a study of graduating college students, Christopher Niemiec, Richard Ryan, and Edward Deci found that graduates who placed importance on self-transcending aspirations were, two years later, more likely to have achieved these goals and have greater well-being. Graduates who aspired more to self-enhancing aspirations were more likely to have achieved these goals but had greater physical and mental health problems!
Vic: Is this blog just about doing good? That seems kind of boring.
Winston: It’s more about how to live a life that’s worth living.
Vic: Still boring.
Winston: How about: How to live a life with less boredom, and more happiness and vitality? Oh, and great sex.
Vic: Not boring but a lie.
Winston: Not a lie at all. That’s where the science comes in. We won’t lie to you, and we don’t make things up! Ever!
Vic: Even the sex part?
Winston: Next week we’ll talk about the study, A Higher Sense of Purpose in Life is Associated with Sexual Enjoyment in Midlife Women.
Vic: Why haven’t I heard about this study before???
Winston: Perhaps because there are no drugs involved?
Vic: I dig. Winston, I have to be honest. I’m still having a tough time wrapping my head around the fact that you…
Winston: …roll a gigantic ball of dung? Remember, I was born in a dung ball. It’s all I’ve ever known. Yet, I’ve managed to create a meaningful life purpose from this existence. Isn’t that a metaphor for many of our lives?
Vic: Cool. See you next week, Winston.
Winston: Keep on rollin’! And if you’re ready for more on this subject, go to dungbeetle.org, where you can use an app that helps you discover your own purpose and then helps you become your own researcher!