Careers

Adele Lemm | Meritize

Just six months before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked a group of junior high school students: “What is your life’s blueprint?”

He described to them that a blueprint “serves as the guide to those who are to build the building [and that] a building is not well erected without a good, sound and solid blueprint.”

Blueprints are not exclusive to construction planning. They can also be used in our personal and professional lives to provide a solid “building” plan for achieving our goals.

Dr. King is not saying that we must have every stage of our lives planned before we set out to go work, but he did provide advice that we should all take to heart in what should be included in the blueprints of our lives.

The first thing Dr. King recommended that should be in our lifes’ blueprint is that each of us needs “a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

While giving this speech, Dr. King was speaking to the worth and value of young African-American students during a pivotal time in history, but don’t think that his advice is dated after 52 years because it still rings true and applies to all. Every life, job and dream is significant, is important and has the potential to make a real impact.

Dr. King’s second recommendation is that we all must have the basic principle of “determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the years unfold what you will do in life, what your life’s work will be. Once you have decided what it will be, set out to do it and to do it well.” Don’t allow anyone to belittle your ambitions. There are countless professions for a reason, no two people are the same and our talents and skillsets can be applied in various situations.

In his speech, he goes into detail that it doesn’t matter what you choose to do in life – just that you do a good job with integrity. “For it isn’t by size that you win or fail, be the best of whatever you are.”

To watch Dr. Martin Luther King’s “What is Your Life’s Blueprint” in full, click here.