#492 Sweeping Streets with Martin Luther King

Like Shakespeare, Beethoven and Michelangelo

In our last +1, we talked about Martin Seligman’s ideas on the science of having a Job vs. a Career vs. a Calling. I proposed we aim to have ALL THREE such that our work involves us using our signature strengths in greatest service to the world WHILE getting paid well AND having fun mastering our chosen domain.

Today I want to chat about another Martin.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

He has a lot to say about the subject as well.

Now, my hunch is you might’ve run across this little MLK, Jr. quote-gem before. “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

But that’s not quite what he said. (It’s a paraphrased version of a sermon he gave.) And, just reading that snippet doesn’t do justice to HOW he said.

We’re going to invite the good Reverend King in to our +1 today so we can actually HEAR him PREACH this. More accurately, we’re going to (and I have goosebumps just typing this) FEEL him preach this wisdom in the New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois on April 9th, 1967.

Here he is → Listen to the audio of MLK, Jr preaching.

Now… If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, I don’t know what will.


Today’s +1.

What are you doing these days? What if you didn’t need to change ANYTHING about it OTHER THAN how you think about it. Even if you don’t totally love what you currently do, what if you waved a wand and imagined that God (or whatever Power inspires you) created you to do EXACTLY what you’re doing right now. It’s your Calling.

How would you approach it then?


Is today a good day to wave that wand and do whatever you do with the genius and artistry of a Shakespeare or Beethoven or Michelangelo?

Fantastic. Let’s do it. Here’s to your calling!!

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