Several days ago, I was listening to Daniel H. Pink, on the radio. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I’m lucky enough to have an autographed copy, given to me by my husband after he attended a convention where Pink spoke. It was signed:
I was thrilled to see his good wishes for Broken Dolls. Heaven knows, I’m always looking for new sources of motivation!
The part of his discussion that most grabbed my attention was his question, “What’s your sentence?” He told the story of a conversation Clare Boothe Luce once had with John F. Kennedy:
“A great man is one sentence. Abraham Lincoln’s was ‘He preserved the Union and freed the slaves.’ Franklin D. Roosevelt’s was, ‘He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war.’ What’s yours?”
In Drive, Mr. Pink states that Luce feared Kennedy’s attention was so splintered among different priorities that his sentence risked becoming a muddled paragraph. How many of us are living “muddled paragraph” lives?
I was so intrigued with the concept of a “life” sentence that I hardly heard the rest of Pink’s discussion as I began to ponder my own life sentence. It was tough, but here’s the sentence I came up with:
Once I came up with my sentence, I found it interesting that much of my writing reflects my sentence. I’ve found it very interesting how the simple act of defining my “life” sentence sentence has added focus to my life and to my writing.
What is your “life” sentence?