In Honor of MLK Day: The 3 Dimensions of a Complete Life

MLK’s sermon – The 3 Dimensions of a Complete Life – is a classic and brings fresh meaning for entrepreneurs in particular here in 2021. When you have time, we encourage you to 🎧 listen to the entire sermon for yourself – it’ll be a great podcast-like listen for you on your next walk or jog. Until then, here’s a quick synopsis below for you to consider for yourself:

Be the best YOU you can be. There’s nothing wrong with a rational and healthy amount of self interest – considering our own individual concerns, goals and dreams in life. Perhaps Whitney Houston put it best: “Learning to love yourself – it is the greatest love of all.” True indeed, if we can’t accept ourselves, how can we ever accept others? That is particularly important for entrepreneurs – if we want to walk the talk of diversity and inclusion (that goes for minority small business owners too)!

Humanity. This is the outward, broader concerns for the welfare of others and, as Dr. King puts it, this is “where you BEGIN to live.” He reminds us that we have what we have because of others. “He who is greatest among you will be your servant.” “We are tied together in life and in the world, we are dependent on others.” Dr. King goes through how you can’t even wake up in the morning without drinking a cup of coffee made possible by someone in South America, couldn’t wash your face without the soap someone in Delaware produced or listen to the news without the teams of people it takes to create it. He implores us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to do something for others. Hopefully, in your business, you are finding a way to serve others meaningfully in a way that brings you joy by using your gifts and talents.

Reach up. This is the spiritual component of life. Whatever / whomever you believe in, consider that when you read these few snippets from the sermon regarding spirituality (which we’re paraphrasing here): “Don’t deny the existence of God in life and the need for God’s power in history. Know that God is with you. We need God. We were made for God. We will be restless until we find rest in Him.” Again, whatever your spiritual beliefs are, I hope you connect with them. The road of entrepreneurship – as difficult, heartbreaking, challenging and humbling as it can be – I dare say, requires it.

These are the 3 dimensions that Dr. King is telling us is necessary to live a complete life. It reminds me of an old Vacation Bible School acronym taught to us long ago: “JOY = Jesus, Others and You.” If you have all three, you’ll have JOY. Pretty sagacious advice that is a poignant reminder today. Are you working on broadening your three dimensions in life?