“True competence is more about growing in wisdom than accumulating mere knowledge. It entails striving toward a psychological and spiritual maturity that results in real personal power.”

~M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Travelled and Beyond

Power. Personal power. Not power over other people or things… but power over yourself. Power to control your emotions and see things clearly. The power to go against the flow and be yourself. The power to BE. That’s my hope for you guys. That’s why I do things the way I do. I want to give you way more than art skills or communication skills… and certainly more than technical skills. I want you to walk away from my class with more power.

But there is a problem… “With great power comes great responsibility.” And even a little power means a little responsibility. It’s the whole ying and yang again- there’s always two sides to the coin. Your first question on your exam was to tell me how this class has changed your perceptions about life. I really hope it has. I hope that like the line from Inception, I’ve given you a resilient parisitic idea about life, wisdom, consciousness, and responsibility. ¬†And I hope so because I really care a lot about you guys and I want you to have the most effective and fulfilled life you can.

This Holiday break you’ve got a lot of free time. I’d like to encourage you guys to try an experiment… Try taking just 30 minutes a day to think about your life. Seriously. Give yourself as much time as you’d give a 30 minute sitcom. But instead of laughing or engaging with a fake life on TV… laugh and engage with your own. Look introspectively. Think about what you stand for and what you value. Few people take the time to make a “fearless moral inventory” of themselves as a good friend of mine always says. And when you don’t know who you really are, you have no power. No power to do what you want to, and no power to stop doing what you can’t stand.

The holidays can be shallow and commercialized. They can take away MUCH more from your life than they give in gifts and “things.” Give yourself a holiday present this year… yourself. Make a new year’s resolution to become a person that has the power of self-knowledge- which is the power to truly understand your place in the world. You have the power to make your life what you want it to be… Don’t trade it away for temporary distractions. Those distractions are often fun, but they cost you something… your life. The real one you want to live. The one you were meant to live.

I’ll leave now with just a part of the lyrics for a song you’ve probably heard in the past by Switchfoot called “Meant To Live.” Maybe these lyrics can be the first 30 minute experiment for you this holiday break:

Dreaming about Providence
And whether mice or men have second tries
Maybe we’ve been livin with our eyes half open
Maybe we’re bent and broken, broken

We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
Somewhere we live inside
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside

We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

Have a great holiday everyone!!! I’ll try to post once or twice this next few weeks for those of you interested.